Using Local Search to Find Customers Online

Jan 25, 2011

Local search can be extremely helpful in building your business.  It could be defined as local people looking for local businesses.  Increase your chances of being found by local customers by getting listed in online phone directories.  Customers looking in directories are usually ready to buy.  Also, online directories seem to pop up at the top of Google results pages.

A basic local search listing is free.  It is good practice to monitor these sites on occasion to make sure that your business information (name, address, zip code, phone, etc) is correct.  Sometimes, online directories grab data from other sources, which is not always accurate. 

Some of these directories will ask for keywords.  These are the words that people will be typing into the box to find your business so choose them carefully.  Don’t forget to list surrounding cities that you consider to be your customer area as keywords.  For example, if you have a business in Glenrock, make sure your keywords include Casper and Douglas.  If you do business in multiple states, include those states, as well.

Do a little experimenting to see if your customers can find you online.  For example, if you have a restaurant in Lander and you type “restaurant Lander, WY”, where do you come up on search engine results pages?

Search engine business directories are also a good way to build visibility.  Get listed on Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local Listing Center.  Basic listings on these directories are free.

When you are thinking of your online reach, don’t forget to join your local Chamber of Commerce.  Membership includes being listed on their business directory, which should have live links to business websites.  Check your online local newspaper for a business directory.  Local events often have websites.  Become a sponsor and get your name listed on these websites.  And finally, local hotels and restaurants often have websites that you could be listed on. 

Expand your local online presence where you can.  Being listed on websites that get good traffic volume will in turn help your visibility in the long run.

Category: Marketing

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