Google Local SEO: Yellow Pages Of The New Age

June 30, 2011 by  Filed under: SEO 

Google Local SEO has impacted the way local or small business owners do their trade these days. It has definitely made marketing for their businesses a lot easier and more worthwhile.

According to surveys during the earlier years up until 2006, yellow pages advertisements were the ideal means to reach local consumers across different locations. If you are a local business owner with your business operating for five years or more now, you could be one of those who have purchased ads for their local businesses.

Come 2007, consumers have gradually replaced their phone books and yellow pages with top search engines like Bing, Google and Yahoo. Consequently, local businesses which were established that year and in the succeeding years no longer saw the importance of yellow pages advertisements. In lieu with this, surveys suggest less than one-third of consumers will use a phone book in 2011.

Local Search Ousting Traditional Print Ads

As search engines today replace phone books and yellow pages directories, local businesses are beginning to recognize just how important search engine optimization (SEO) has become.

The first page of the search engine results (SER) only shows a handful of businesses. Due to the fact that consumers usually click on the top search results, being number one in the SER for your business search term is more important than ever.

Let’s say you want potential customers with in your area to locate your small pottery business, you would need to put extra effort on optimizing your business for local searches. This is called Local SEO and it appears to be the fastest among the expanding services in the SEO industry.

Getting Started With Google Local SEO

To begin with your local SEO endeavor, create a profile for your small business on Google Places which is one of the famed websites catering to local businesses. In this profile, you can share your business phone number, location, hours of operation, types of payment accepted, types of services provided, the brand you offer and the like. These pieces of information will also appear in the search results.

Besides Google Places, you can also try registering your business profile in Best of the Web, Bing, MerchantCircle, Yahoo and Yelp. You can surf the net for more online companies offering business owners the same opportunity of creating profiles.

Effects Of Business Profiles To Search Results

Claiming a profile for your business would definitely increase the possibility for it to pop up in local search results. For example, when a local customer conducts a search through the search engines, the latter display a number of business links that are related to the search.

These links show in the first page of SER according to the ranking assigned by the search engines’ algorithms. The details of these algorithms are a secret. However, mention of a specific business in online directories such as Google local business directory can influence the rankings.

The main reason why search engines, specifically Google, look for mentions or references is the fact that they serve as ideal indicators of a business’ trust and longevity. A local business that has stood the test of time, or is well-liked and trusted, or is frequently referred will surely reap mentions in local business directories, local chamber of commerce website, local business association websites, and even in local media.

Your dream of having your local business top local search results is not far from reality. You can start with creating an official website and a profile page for your business. After which, you can take advantage of free services like Google local SEO that connects local searches with local businesses.

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