Local Search Marketing Services: Yelp, Citations, & Google+
Get More Local Business Part 2
This blog is a continuation of our Local Blog Series, which details how businesses can get more customers in their local areas. It may be helpful for you to first read our introduction and overview of the 10 best strategies to help get local business. Today, we will be focusing on 3 strategies: Yelp, Citations, and Google+.
Local Internet Marketing: Yelp, Citations, and Google+
Yelp continues to be the leading force for online local business reviews and is one of the most respected review website available. Businesses should take full advantage of this platform. Why? Because it gives you the opportunity to be become a great host online and in-person. Make sure that your business is listed on Yelp and fill out your profile completely. This will help encourage users to leave reviews and see you as a legitimate and professional company.
- From a local perspective, users who are looking for goods and services around their area will often make decisions based off customer reviews found on Yelp
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your business and check-in. You can do this by offering incentives such as a discount on their next visit.
- If people do leave comments, it’s best to respond and interact with them. This will create a relationship with your customers, and they will feel more appreciated and heard knowing that your business is dedicated to providing amazing service.
When business owners respond to reviews, Yelp factors their response into Yelp’s own algorithm, which will help your business rank at the top of searches from potential customers.
Citations are online references to your business name, address, and phone number. It is important that your citations are consistent and identical as they count like votes to improve your SEO. Generally, all other things being equal, a website with more citations will rank higher.
Although important, managing your many citations online can be time-consuming and frustrating. That’s because the process to find, claim, update, verify, and monitor a single citation can take weeks. It’s best to start with major directories like yellowpages.com and social media sites, because those are more likely to show up on the first page when a user searches for your business.
Keep these key points in mind:
- It is important to have consistent business listings, because if there are multiple contacts addresses or phone numbers, the inconsistent info will confuse search engines and even users who are searching for you. Make sure your information is exactly the same for all citations.
- According to an April 2014 Placeable Study, 73% of users lose trust in businesses with inaccurate or outdated contact information.
- If you see multiple listings that list incorrect information, you the business owner can suppress the false listing. You can suppress these pages by verifying your contact information and the incorrect listings that have been created will eventually be deleted from local search.
Ongoing monitoring of your citations will help you rank better on search engines, especially for local searches. Even if you only work through one citation a week, you will eventually start to see the benefits, and every little bit counts.
Google+ Local Page
Every business on Google Plus has the option to integrate with Google+ Local (formerly known as Google Places). When your business creates a local page, you need to take just a few more steps to become verified on the network. It is similar to having a website citation, but you are listing directly with Google, which is the majority shareholder of almost all web traffic.
Here’s how you do it:
Completely fill out your profile and once you are done you will be prompted to request a pin number to verify your page. Once that is finalized, Google will send you a postcard with your personal pin number to enter it on your profile. Enter it and your page will be verified.
Google+ Local pages that are verified will often show up in Google search results. What we have seen in the past is that verified pages with more reviews (positive reviews of course) tend to show up near the top of local listings in Google search – in spots A,B, and C.
What to take away from this?
- Google rewards businesses who use Google Local with higher rankings on local searches.
- Local rankings get displayed on the right side of search results and can include the map, images, link to site, and phone number.
- All of your business information that is published on your Google+ local page almost instantaneously uploads to Google. This helps your information index quicker and connects with the algorithm much faster.
- Local business listings in Google are valuable since they will be placed above standard search results with a direct link to your business’s location.
Intact Info: Local Search Marketing Services
If there is still some concern about why it is important to integrate our strategies to help get local business, remember that Google handles 100 billion searches per month. The only way to get found these days is not by lighting a fire on the top of your building, but by taking steps to make sure you are covering all of your bases with the resources available to you. If you would like to read more about the next set of strategies, please go to our Part 3
If you could use a hand, our professionals are available to give you a free quote and help you manage these platforms to help bring you more local business.