Did You Know That SMBs Don't Get Local Search?

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How many times can one person come across a relatively successful small business and find, once again, that they have not even claimed their local business listing in the Google Local Business Center? Enough for me to lose count, that’s how many. If you are a search marketer and you deal with any business of any size, you know that one of first things you should do is gain control of this valuable online asset. If you are an SMB, you may be hearing this for the first time and you need to pay attention.

  • Did you know that if a searcher just types in ‘plumber’ for a search and does not use a geographical qualifier, that a local result set (a “10 pack,” which is up to 10 listings with a map) will be delivered, based on the location of the searcher using their IP address? The 10 pack is placed at the top of the SERP (search engine result page) if the qualifier is used. It comes up placed generally high mid-page (around the 3rd or 4th result) when no qualifier is used. This is a recent development in local search that SMBs need to know.
  • Did you know that the Google Local Business Center now gives you more data than ever before about impressions and actions taken on your local business listing?
  • Did you know that if you don’t claim your local business listing then virtually anyone can? That could mean a competitor or who knows what else. Claim your listing right now if you are an SMB, and if you are a search marketer, do this as a value-added to impress your existing customers.
  • Did you know that you can “optimize” your local business listing with photos and information which can help you show up in the 10 pack ahead of your competitors?
  • Did you know that people are talking about you? There may be reviews of your company, product, or service that are impacting your sales efforts either positively or negatively. If they are there, you need to be aware. Imagine you get stymied on a deal after someone happened upon a review at the last minute and it sabotaged your efforts.

Resources:

Two people that you need to pay attention to are Matt McGee and David Mihm. Oh, and to make the whole process super easy, you just need to go to GetListed.org.

Don’t let your local listing keep you from gathering some low-hanging fruit from the search engines that you may not have even known existed.

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2 Comments

  1. How can someone else claim your listing? The problem I'm having right now with claiming listings is that I'm not at the main phone number and it's showing that as my only option right now. We also have 58 locations around the city I'd love to claim, but again verifying that I'm the responsible party is proving difficult.

  2. @brooke - That is one of the downfalls of the system. While it is not too common some verticals have been ravaged by it. Check out http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/getting-bulk-local-listings-verified-on-googles-local-business-center to see if this helps Frank Reed’s last blog post..Happy 4th of July and THANK YOU!