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Antidote 71May 4, 2017 12:00:00 AM

Improve Local Search for Your Business With These Five Tips

Have you ever been frustrated by inaccurate information about your business in an online listing or local search? You're not alone. But did you know you can do something about it? There are 13 companies that aggregate business listings and serve them to the hundreds of thousands of sites across the internet that show them. Optimizing with these 13 companies can improve how you show up to Google—and to customers.

Google Favors Local Search for Relevance

Local relevance continues grow in importance when searching online. Both organic search (SEO) and paid search (PPC) use local cues to serve the most relevant results to users. Having accurate listings across the web is the foundation for showing up when people look for what  you r business has to offer. These five tips can help you make sure your listings work hard for you.

1. Accurate Location Information on Your Own Website

Make sure your website has your complete address and phone number on the homepage (or in a header/footer) and also on a dedicated location or contact page. If you have multiple locations, it's a best practice to have a list of them on your contact or locations page but also have an individual page for each location.

2. Have a Dynamic Google Map and Directions to Your Business

Google has made it easy to embed a dynamic map on your website to clearly show people where your business is. Make sure the zoom level of the map is close enough in to see your location, but far enough out to capture main roads leading to your business.

Although customers can click the Google Map to get directions, it's a good idea to have simplified driving instructions from major highways or interstates listed out in text on your site. Google uses this information to better understand how to serve your business in search results on mobile devices near your location.

3. Make Sure Your Business Listings Are Accurate

[caption id="attachment_37095" align="alignright" width="300"] Tools like Moz Local help you check the quality of your business listings.[/caption]

Remember the 13 sites we talked about in the opening? You can use a variety of tools to make sure your listings are

accurate. We use Moz Local for clients and our own business, though there are many others out there.

Each listing site is different—some allow pictures, some allow short and long descriptions—so it's important that your profile is complete for content each of them use. The more information the better.

4. Keep Your Social Media Business Pages Up-to-Date

You have a Google Business Page, Facebook Page and LinkedIn Company Page, right? If not, all three are important for how you show up in search. Moreover, those aggregators we talked about use them to verify your business. Keeping that information complete and up-to-date helps you rank better in local search.

5. Check Your Listings Quarterly and Make Updates

Nothing in marketing is "set it and forget it" anymore. Optimizing your local listings once is good. Checking in on them at least quarterly—and making necessary updates—is better and will give you a leg up on the competition. Of course, using an agency to manage your listings and keep them up-to-date takes this burden off of you and lets you focus on running your business.

Help From the Pros

We work with companies every day to help ensure they show up in Google Search results. Local listings are a big part of that—and usually the first place we start. We've noticed many companies in Sioux City and Omaha don't pay attention to their local listing citations. That means that companies that do have a competitive advantage. We'd love to do a free audit of your local listings and general local search results. Just use the button below to fill out a request form and we'll get started.
Request a Free Local Listing Audit