Take a moment and google your business name, or better yet, one of your primary services. Does your website come up first? Do you see other references to your website from services such as Yelp, CitySearch or SuperPages? If not – then you may be in serious need of some local search optimization.
Why does local search matter?
Local search is an often ignored, but vastly important aspect of online marketing. Google tries to automatically match your website with local searches based on clues such as addresses and contact numbers in your website content, but ultimately – you should be in control of your own local search presence. Business that haven’t actively managed their local search are likely to suffer from one or more of the following issues:
- Your site is nowhere to be found in local searches.
- Your site is indexed, but your competitors sites are showing up with map references, reviews and other helpful information – making them stand out.
- Your business is represented poorly through listing with outdated information, locations, etc.
Managing your local search presence isn’t exactly rocket science, but it does take a lot of time – time most business owners do not have. Setting up your Google Places page, SuperPages listing, Yelp account, along with a host of other valuable local directories takes a lot of time and as a result, is often neglected. If you find yourself in this position, you should seriously consider seeking professional local sep services.
What can I expect with local SEO services?
A good local search marketing company should offer a comprehensive array of local SEO services including directory listing, citation management, monitoring reviews and social activity, as well as making sure that all references to your business are correct and up to date. With a local SEO services company behind you – you can rest easy knowing that your information is being maintained and properly looked after while you tend to running your company. Additionally, a professional local search company will work along-side you to make sure that your company’s message is consistent and well communicated throughout the local search network. These services will not only help you stand out from your competition – but knowing that a professional is taking care of the fine details brings a fantastic peace of mind.
But can’t I manage local SEO myself?
Anyone can manage their own local SEO. The biggest reason most do not is that they simply do not have the time. As mentioned before – the process itself isn’t as difficult as it is time consuming – and you have to be committed to constantly monitoring your local activity and making sure everything is kept updated and with correct, up-to-date information. If you had to pick one local SEO service, make sure your Google Places page is set up properly. From there, move on to local directories and yellow-pages type sites. If you are a restaurant, be sure to check out foursquare, yelp, urban spoon and other sited dedicated to connecting customers to restaurants. Industrial businesses should make sure they are properly listed in Manta, MerchantCircle and other B2B directories.
All in all – you could easily find 40-50 local and local-oriented directories that are worth including in your local search portfolio, and this is exactly why it can become such a time consuming task! So, unless you actually have the time (or staff on-hand that have the time) to properly manage your local SEO campaign – you would be wise to seek out professional local SEO services.