What Is Local Search and How it Can Help Your Business

Eric Binnion —  October 12, 2012 — 2 Comments

There are few things that will kill your business quicker than not having effective marketing. But let’s face it, there are so many options to market your company and very few of them are cheap. With there being so many options, how do you choose the proper way to market your company without breaking the bank?

Well, today I’d like to show you how to get your business prominently displayed in the top search engines!

Local Search

If you are a small business, you likely feel as if you as a little fish in a big ocean. But, you can use this to your advantage when you use tools available to you, such as local search. There are a few ways to start playing the local search game, but the easiest way to get listed in local search results is to include your business in each of the search engine’s business directories.

Below is a screenshot that shows the results from a search on Google for “Web Design in Dallas.” I have enclosed the local businesses that were added to the directory within a red box.

Google Local Search Results

As you can see, these businesses are prominently located on the front page as a result of the businesses claiming their listing on the Google search engine, which is a fairly simple process.

How to Add Your Business

The three major search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo), all have business directories that you can easily submit your business to. It is free to list your business on each of these three search engines, although you can pay for more exposure through advertising or any enhanced listing.

Below are screenshots of the business listing pages with an arrow pointing to where to click to get signed up, as well as links for your convenience.

Google

google-places-listing

Yahoo

yahoo-listing

Bing

bing-listing

Once you click on the signup button for each search engine, you will see a form much like the Google places signup form below. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the shortest form, but it is work well worth it for getting free advertising for your business!

Once you have filled out the form, the search engines have some verification process that will require you entering a verification code that you may choose to receive through mail, phone, SMS, or email (depending on the search engine).

Once you have verified your ownership, your listing should begin to show up in search results after a delay, of course.

google-places-listing-screen

Conclusion

Adding your business to the local listings of the major search engines is a relatively simple process that will allow you to gain extra exposure at little or no cost. Getting to the top of the search engines without using this tool would be a much more involved and time-consuming process.

If you have any questions, or difficulties, in the process of adding your company to the local listings of the search engines, please leave a comment below

Eric Binnion

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This post was written by Eric Binnion. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

2 responses to What Is Local Search and How it Can Help Your Business

  1. I agree that Google+ Local business page is just another great opportunity for our capture valuable real estate in the local organic search results. With more and more local results showing up on the SERP, Google’s free listings for local businesses (Google+ Local) are a very important ingredient for a comprehensive local search strategy.

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