Local search is a fast easy and free way to ensure your business is findable on the web. The major sites that provide local search are Google, Yahoo and now Bing. They all have their own sing up method and none are difficult to complete. The local search feature will not drive huge amounts of traffic to your site but it’s an important first step. The local search registration will be valuable when a customer is looking for you and is foundational to completing the three-step process I outlined yesterday. Lets take an example.
I’m Joe Average and I live in Marietta Ga. When I search the web using Google for “Flowers” from my computer located in Marietta. Google knows I’m in Marietta because I have either previously entered the information or they look at the IP address of my computer which will provide them a proximity. When Google presents the search results one of the first listings will be a Google map with local businesses that might sell flowers in Marietta or the surrounding area. If I’m looking for your particular Flower shop and you don’t show then I’m likely to find another Flower shop.
Two other important points 1) customers have the opportunity to rate your business via local search engines and 2) You can offer a coupon via the local search. These are two opportunities you don’t want to miss. Encourage your customers to rate your business and mention that there is a coupon out there to help encourage them. People love coupons and you can customize it any way you want.
As I mention above this step is a foundational necessity. The Adwords and social networking will truly begin to drive traffic but you want to be sure that you are findable through local search. Additionally on Google you’ll want to complete a profile so if someone searches for your name they can always find you on the first page of Google although it will be at the bottom.
Finally, I’ll post a few short instructional video’s running through the sign-up process for each of these sights. In another up coming post we’ll spend some time reviewing other local search options that will drive traffic such as Kudzu and citysearch.