As a local business, your search engine marketing plan should include a healthy dose of local search. In fact, if your business is restricted to servicing clients in a small geographic area, local search should be your most important consideration.
Today’s post is going to start you off in the right direction by outlining some of the local search sites and business directories where, as a local Canadian business, it’s important to have a presence.
1) Google Places:
It goes without saying that Google can be a major driver of traffic for your business. Google places allows you to create a profile for your business that will be listed in Google’s local search results, including the map that you sometimes see on your search results page when you’re looking for something local. You can even create a special coupon for use by people who find you via Google Places. It’s free, provides you with a local search presence, as well as lends some additional legitimacy in the eyes of your potential customer.
Yelp is a highly popular website & mobile application that allows users to search, rate & review local businesses. Creating a Yelp page for your business is a great way to get some more local traffic, a valuable inbound link for your website, and assuming you’re doing a good job, some positive reviews that will separate you from your competition.
Listing on Yelp also places you on their highly popular Yelp mobile app. It’s a great way to ensure that you’re getting a little extra foot traffic from people currently in your neighbourhood, looking for a business just like yours.
Hot Frog is a business directory that is free to get a basic listing on. It provides a valuable inbound link to your website, as well as another place to list your business for potential local customers. HotFrog.ca gets over 85,000 visits/month, so while not the most trafficked of the properties we’ve discussed, it’s still nothing to sneeze at. Hotfrog profile pages also consistently show up in search results for local businesses.
Almost everyone knows the yellow pages, and most know that you can advertise on Yellowpages.ca, but you can also create a business profile on yellowpages.ca for free. Another great spot to get a link back to your site, as well as ensuring that you’ll be listed should a potential customer be using yellowpages.ca to search for businesses in their area.
411.ca is another popular local search engine that allows you to list your business for free. The 411.ca business profile listings are generally pretty search friendly and do find their way into local search results.
Link: List yourself on 411.ca
Getting listed on these properties is sure to boost your local search profile, but it’s just the beginning. In future posts we’ll discuss how you can optimise your website, as well as all of your local business profile pages to maximize your local search exposure. Also, don’t forget, if your business is restricted to a certain geo-location and your running paid search campaigns, you’ll want to make sure your campaigns are targeting the right customers.
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