Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Boost Your Local Listings

If you serve a specific geographic area, like Connecticut, or Boston, or Northern New Jersey, you need to be listed prominently in the major local search engines. Here’s how to do that:

Google Local is actually located at maps.google.com. Yahoo Local is located at local.yahoo.com. And MSN/Live local is located atmaps.live.com. (now it’s bing.com/maps)

Go to each of them and follow these instructions:

Do a search for your company name plus your actual address. For example, search for Skillman Doors, Bloomfield NJ or Total Image Consultants, Boston MA. That ought to bring up your listing, if it exists.

If it’s not there, look for a way to add your listing.
• In Google Local, the link is in a section headlined Can’t find what you’re looking for? And says add a place to the map
• In Yahoo Local, the link is at the very bottom under Local Resources and it says Add a Business
• In Live Local the link is near the bottom left corner of the page in gray type and quite small – you really have to look for it. It says To add or edit your business listing, use the Local Listing Center.

Once you’re at the Add Listing page, enter all the information requested and submit or enter.

But Wait! You’re Not Done!

All three of these local search sites have an option for customers to rate businesses. The more ratings you have, and the better they are, the more prominent you may be listed. Don’t overdo it or try to fake out the search engines by logging in as fictitious customers. The search engines are wise to those tricks and you could find yourself severely penalized.

However, do ask some of your best customers if they would be willing to give you a rating in one or another of these local search engines. Typically there’s a link right next to your listing for them to use. Tell them where to go and how to look you up. And ask them if they would write something nice about you.

After a few weeks, check back in to local search and search for yourself by keyword instead of by your company name – such aslawyers East Hanover NJ or fashion stylist Boston MA. Over time, you should see your visibility improve.

1 Comment
  1. The only way local listings show up in these various search results is
    if you have managed your listings by entering marketing information. If
    you are in financial services, you’ll have a chance to get the word out locally, while
    controlling your location services information nationally.
    If reading this page I thing you understood what
    I wanted to say and also get to know what you are losing.

Leave a Reply