By Rieva Lesonsky Are you using the power of the most effective internet marketing tool out there? Using local search is one of the best ways to attract new customers to your business. If your business is one that relies on a local customer base—such as a plumber, a lawn-care service or a restaurant—and you’re not using local search marketing tips and tools (like directories), you’re seriously missing out.
Today, customers looking for a local business rarely whip out the phone book—instead, they grab their cell phones or head to the computer to type what they’re looking for into their browser. Making sure your business comes up near or at the top of those search results is key to getting potential customers to call or come in. How do you get started? Chances are your business is already listed in local search directories such as Google+ Local, CitySearch, Bing Local and Yahoo! Local, because these sites typically put in bare-bones information about local businesses. Visit these sites and check your business name to see what comes up. Then follow these 3 steps:
“Claim” your listing.
Make sure the information it includes is accurate and completely filled out. The basics include your location’s address, phone number and hours that you’re open. You’ll also want to include a detailed description of your business that has keywords your prospects are likely to use while searching for your type of service. For instance, a plumber in San Diego who specializes in bathroom remodels might use the keywords “san diego plumber” and “bathroom remodel.”
The more you “enhance” your listing, the more information customers will have about you and the more likely they are to choose your business over your competitors. Most localsearch directories charge nothing to add things like photos, directions, maps to your location, special offers or coupons, menus or calendars of upcoming events.
3. Keep it up to date.
It’s important to make sure your local search directory listings are current and accurate. Visit all the search directories where you’re listed monthly. Make sure the information is still current; update anything you want to change, such as your calendar, map or menus. Adding new information keeps your listing fresh and keeps customers coming in!
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