Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Concept

A local business listing is your business’ online profile that contains the most important information for your customers including address, phone number and store hours. The main goal of these listings is to increase your websites visibility on major search engines like Google and Bing, directory sites including Yelp, Google Maps, and Yellowpages plus it increases traffic online and store visits offline. There are hundreds of directory sites to upload your info to and is highly recommended that you do this if you are looking to increase your business’ visibility for local search results.

Local listings are important for several reasons. The most important one being that search engines use these listings to show relevant search results to people looking for products or services at a specific location. For example, a customer who is looking for a shoe store near her or an automotive dealership in California. Google will use clues from your website and business listing to determine if you are the best company for that customer. Here are the top reasons you should use Local Listings:

Major Ranking Signal For Searches Involving Location

Google uses key signals on and off your website to determine if your website is relevant to a customer’s search results. For a local search result, Google wants to know a few things including where your business is located in relation to the customer and if other customers recommend your business. Your Local Listings will give Google, and other major search engines, all of this information, using NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number). NAP is your basic business information, which should be displayed on every page of your website and be consistent with all of your business listings. The single biggest mistake any business can make is having an inconsistent NAP. It is imperative that all of your listings have a consistent name, address and phone number.

Local Links Build Trust

Another important ranking factor for major search engines are links from other websites back to your website, what we call backlinks. Backlinks can be acquired through various methods including social media, directory sites, and articles on blog sites or news sites. Backlinks are important because search engines see them as a trust signal and the more you have, the better! When you setup a local listing on a directory site, you are receiving all of the benefits described above as well as a link to your website.

Premium Search Results In Google & Bing

Local Listings Search Result

Local Listings Search Result

Google My Business and Bing Places put your business listing in a premium position on search engines. These listings will be the most visible thing on the page and they include pictures of your business, address, phone number, and reviews. These are the best, non-paid listings that a business can use to appear in the search engines, so we highly recommend creating a Google My Business and Bing Places.

Additional Traffic Source For Websites

Most of your customers will find you through the Google or Bing search engines but some of them will use directory sites to find a list of local businesses and what they have to offer. This won’t make up a major portion of website traffic but it does provide you with additional customers and the more traffic that reaches your website the better your rankings!

Reviews From Customers Improve Your Rankings

Reviews look great for your business and it builds trust with customers before you have your first conversation. In addition, search engines use reviews as a signal for the trustworthiness and customer service of your business. Major search engines, like Google, want to provide their customers with the best product and the best business. So they use several different signals to determine which business they think will provide each customer with great customer service. Business owners should leverage Google Reviews as much as possible, not only for SEO reasons but the overall perception that it creates for their business. There are simple things you can do with customers such as giving them a follow-up call after a sale and asking them to review your business or giving them a flyer to review their experience at your business, etc.

On-Page SEO

Local listings will help increase local rankings, but websites still need to be optimized for their local market. Displaying your name, address and phone number on every page of your website helps but you’ll also want to add your city and state to headings and the content on your web pages.

Local Listing Packages Offered At NetSource Technologies

Local listings play a major role in your websites ability to show up for local searches and is a service offered at NetSource Technologies. There are hundreds of directory sites that companies can use but it would take days to create a profile for each one. At NetSource Technologies, we offer a comprehensive package with our listing partners to provide businesses with an easy way to create a listing on the top directory sites in the United States. It won’t take days, it’ll take 15 minutes!

Give us a call at 352-732-7700 or fill out our contact form for more information today!

Group of People Connection Digital Device Concept

It may seem odd that we are at the fifth stage of this blog series on Business Website Success for redesigning your website and we have yet to talk about website design or budgeting.  You may already have some initial design ideas in your head or a rough budget projection, but until you determine all aspects of what it takes to have a profitable business online – design AND marketing – your design concepts or budget may be off base from your true needs.

In this stage of the planning, we are going to look at initial marketing ideas.  I say initial marketing ideas as we are not locking anything down yet. Instead, we are getting a clearer assessment of what is needed to promote the website (or more importantly, your business) after launch and what options are available.  Marketing can be a hidden or overlooked expense for many business owners, so getting this information up front helps to avoid surprises later. […]

Asking your customers for reviews on Google is a great strategy for building your local search results and positively managing your reputation online. However, Google has safeguards in place to discourage fraudulent or spammy reviews, and you don’t want to run afoul of their guidelines which can end up costing you. You reviews might be removed from Google, and your “bad reputation” might have a negative impact on your local search rank.

Here are some methods of getting legitimate reviews from your customers without violating Google’s policies:

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For local businesses, showing up at the top of the search engine results page is extremely important. With the ever-changing search engine algorithms it’s getting harder and harder to figure out what works to get you there. There is no exact formula to accomplish this goal, but there are some known factors which you should consider priority SEO tasks. […]