2010 has been the new era of Google dominating the landscape for local search terms. The increase of web enabled phones, internet penetration, and the decline of yellow pages and newspapers has people searching for local businesses online now more than ever. Over 30% of searches on the internet are related to local services. This percentage continues to increase and if you haven’t taken a look at your local listings in a while, now is the time.
A site you need to visit today is GetListed.org. Get Listed lists all of the sites search engines pull data from to initially rank businesses in map listings. Be sure all of the information is correct and matches all of the other sites. Having matching information from all of the business directories will give Google more trust to list your website higher in Google Places.
The 9 sites listed in the resource section on Get Listed will take you an hour to check and verify the information listed. Once this is done once, you never need to check back. Some of the sites have paid options for enhanced listings such as CitySearch.com. City Search is not recommended by us as its dominance of first page rankings has really dropped after sites such as Yelp and Google Places have begun to grab a lion’s share of the search traffic. If you are a restaurant you may consider a paid or enhanced listing as this is an area they do get most of their traffic.
Google displays either a 10, 7, 5 or 3 pack listing of businesses. The goal is to grab the top spot and you will get most of the search traffic. The two main factors that influence map listing placement are:
- Amount of links pointing to your website: The more links you have pointing to your website the better. The search engines rank your site higher due to it having more links then your competition. Links are built by adding your site to business directories, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, leaving comments on other blogs and more advanced techniques. If you need help with this, feel free to contact us and we will discuss strategy.The number of links is a reason large national companies often hold the top spot in every city. Look at pizza chains such as Dominoes or Pap Johns. They have thousands of other sites linking to them due to the work of their marketing companies.
- Customer reviews: Businesses with more positive reviews tend to get higher placements. Search engines aim to show results that people will benefit from. Positive reviews obviously must mean people like it and others will as well. As customers to review your business on Google Places.
Take the time today to visit GetListed.org and make sure your small business website is optimized correctly. It only takes an hour and the new customers it can bring will last a lifetime. We are here to help if you need any assistance or have questions about your Google Place listing.