You may have heard of Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Local Directory Submission. Local SEO can have huge benefits for small businesses. Take any search engine and search for a particular trade or business and look at the results. You can see right away how many directories are competing for you to click on them. Local SEO works by ensuring that you can be found more easily when someone is doing a search for a local business.
The most important directory to make sure you are on is Google Local/Places. Every month, Google handles close to seven billion local searches in the United States. With almost all of these searches, Google includes businesses from Google Local/Places in its results.
There are many other directories that you will want to look at as well. Some that you might want to consider are Angie's List, Bing,Yahoo, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Citysearch and Manta. Different directories do better in different areas. Search for your profession or business type and see which ones are most prominent for you. While most directories have paid listings, they also have free listings that are provide a lot of the desired effects.
When doing your directory submissions, here are a few tips that can help you get better results. First, always remember NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) should be exactly the same for all the submissions. Second, complete as much of the information as possible and include photos. Lastly, select all the categories that apply to your business and be as specific as you can. Use your keywords as much as possible in the descriptions.
Reviews, reviews, reviews! Once you get listed, get customers to go to some of these directories and review and/or rate your business. The search engines and directories like to promote the businesses that are active and have feedback to make for a better experience.
There is much more we can cover about Local SEO but we will save that for another time. If you have any questions about Local SEO or need help with being listed locally, let us know. We hope this information will get you started in the right direction.