How to avoid the 3 biggest mistakes with local search

December 15, 2017 By Anthony Manly

When it comes to marketing your local business online, local search is a great place to start.

Hi, Anthony Manly here from Self Managed Business and the topic for today is local search. 

Many small business owners that I’ve been working with lately have been burnt by so called “local business search experts”.  They’ve invested large amounts of hard-earned money with these “experts” only to get limited results.

This leaves a business owner to believe that SEO is a scam or doesn’t work.

Directory and Map sites you should be on

These so called “experts” will sign you up to the big directory and map sites that you should be on including – Google, Yelp, Yahoo Business, Bing, Yellow Pages and Facebook to name a few however they make several common marketing mistakes that can damage your result with the search engines.

local search

3 Most Common Local Search Marketing Mistakes

Here’s a list of the top 3 most common marketing mistakes that you should avoid with your listings on the directory and map sites.

  1. The business address listed is not your physical address

    Make sure that your listing is created with the physical address of your business.  It’s not uncommon to see maps listings with PO boxes or mailboxes at remote locations.  These are not acceptable to the major search engines like Google.

  2. Phone numbers are shared between multiple business locations

    Make sure that you provide a local phone number instead of a central, call centre number so that a customer can connect to your individual business location. Also provide one website that represents your individual business location.

    If you have multiple business locations then you should not have the phone number of a single location representing all locations

  3. The business listing is stuffed with keywords

    Make sure that your listing is created with the physical address of your business.  It’s not uncommon to see maps listings with PO boxes or mailboxes at remote locations which are not acceptable to the major search engines like Google.

    Here’s some examples of what not to do:
    • “suburb name + business name” (Manhattan Franks Pizza to Go)
    • “Keywords + business name” (Massage and Acupuncture Tina’s Massage Parlor)

Your business name should be a reflection of your business’ real-world name.  This is the name you use on your storefront, website, stationery, and as you customers know your business. 

Here’s an example of what you should have for your business listing on all directory and map sites – “Pete’s Landscaping Supplies

Check your current local business listings or start claiming them

Now, it’s your turn either check your current listings on various directory and map sites or start claiming them.

When you start claiming your listing on a site expect to get emails,  These emails tell you how they can help you grow your business for a fee. You simply need to ignore these emails as they eventually go away. 

Claiming your listing, ensuring your address and phone number are correct, then adding the correct categories, social profiles, website URL and a good description is a great start to get your local business search started.

Todays TIP: 

If you want to get on top of local search there are tools such as a Yext and Moz Local which can help you easily create new listings, monitor and maintain listings claimed and alert you if something needs to be fixed.

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