The core work of any local search marketing campaign is the creation of local business listings. A local business listing is an online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other details. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Some you may already have heard about include Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Internet Yellow Pages, and Yahoo! Local.
The purpose of creating local listings is to make your business visible on the Internet. Each new listing you create increases your chances of being found by customers. At the same time, many of the local business indexes share data with each other. Thus, the more places you are listed and the more visible you are, the more these indexes trust the accuracy of your business data—increasing your chances of ranking well in local searches.
In order to qualify for a local business listing in any index, your business must meet all four of the following criteria:
- Have a business name or DBA
- Have a local phone number that matches your city of location (not a shared phone number, toll-free number, or call tracking number)
- Have a dedicated physical street address (not a shared address, PO box, or virtual office)
- Make face-to-face contact with your customers (business is not conducted virtually)
If you meet all four of the above criteria, you are ready to move forward to the following topics:
Most indexes require you to verify each listing you create. Know what to expect during the claiming process.
For your local business listing to be successful, pay close attention to these listing attributes.
Adding categories to your listings in local search engines may seem a trivial step, but it's actually very important.
Everything you need to know about claiming your business listing in local search engines like Google Places.
Local citations - that is, mentions of your business name and location on other sites - are key components of local search rankings.
To succeed in local business listings, you'll need to start building citations: mentions of your name and address across the web. Learn how to get them.
A variety of negative outcomes can arise from the presence of duplicate listings, detracting from your local business' ability to rank well and win customers.