Local business center listings

Yield Software · November 16, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/bdc

… and tips for tweaking them

In August we ran a post about getting your site listed in Google’s 10-pack.  This post has been our number one read post to date, so I thought you might appreciate additional tips on tweaking your local business center listings across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

1. Submit complete forms.

All three local search centers include a wealth of information that’s of use for people doing searches (i.e. your prospects!), so be sure to fill out each form completely (the hyperlinked “Google”, “Yahoo” and “Bing”, above, will take you to each).

For example, if you have a bricks-and-mortar storefront, you can indicate your operating hours. If your site then appears in Google’s 10-pack listing and someone clicks on your listing, it will say whether or not you’re open for business – in real time.

Also be sure to choose the appropriate categories for your business – and yes, you can choose more than one. Choosing more than one category helps ensure you site is shown in local searches for those categories (nevertheless, show restraint: only choose those categories that genuinely refer to your business).

As you can see in the screen shot below, Spa Bar, a day spa in San Francisco, has included its operating hours but is listed for one category only.

Its competitor, Tru Spa, also located in San Francisco, lists its operating hours and six categories, as you can see in the screen shot below.

2. Ask all of your customers to give you a review – on multiple sites.

Customer reviews comprise a major component of the local search algorithm. And, as you can see in the screen shot below, Google is now including a link for “Reputation Trend,” which links to a trending analysis on the review site Judy’s Book.

This means it’s becoming increasingly important that you become very strategic about getting your customers to leave reviews for you – on multiple review sites.

In this shot for Luminous Day Spa, you can see that Bing is pulling information from the CitySearch directory, including “menu” and “reservation” hot links, and it’s showing that the spa has a rating of 9/10 (we’re not sure how that is calculated).

Other review sites you’ll want to consider include:

Local review sites for your city/region – These include CitySearch and Yelp, to name just two popular review sites.

Travel sitesFodor’s and HotelTravel.com are two popular sites.

Google Reviews – Anyone with a Google account can leave a review simply by clicking on the little “comment” icon that follows any search engine listing (provided the person is logged in to Google).

Yahoo! and Bing Reviews – The review function works similarly to Google’s.

3. Upload your own images.

Although all three search engines let you upload images, you can upload more than just one or two to Google’s local business center. If you don’t upload your own images, you leave to chance exactly what image Google is going to show – which could be unflattering, to say the least.

For our day spa example, many of the spas used photographs of people getting facials and massages or images of their interiors. You can also upload your logo and YouTube videos.

(Image source: foundlocals.com)

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Yield Software's complete Yield Web Marketing Suite for Business and for Agencies includes a Paid Search Optimizer for management of PPC campaigns; Natural Search Optimizer for improved SEO and page rank; and Landing Page Optimizer, which includes a multivariate test engine to ensure landing pages are converting as well as possible.  Our system enables businesses of all sizes and growing agencies to fully embrace the potential of search marketing across Google, Bing and Yahoo! All of which leads to increased traffic to websites at a lower overall cost, resulting in greater conversion rates and increasing revenues.  Try a free 15-day trial or learn more at www.yieldsoftware.com.

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