So today I review the process for registering with the last major local search search engine. Tomorrow’s blog will get back to neighborhoods. We’ll be talking about the barber shop.
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.
Today I wanted to discuss a technique that almost guarantees fist page search results when someone is searching for your name. This strategy is very valuable for individuals involved in sales.
To test the strategy I had to do a search for my name and as you can see I come up in 5 places on the first page of Google although none of the results go directly to my blog sites. The first result that is related to me is video results. I have some videos posted to YouTube so I come up when the user clicks on that page. The next site that shows me is a network that I maintain a profile on and sometime blog at. Then there is LinkedIn my radio show profile page and finally you see a picture of me at the very bottom of the search page. This picture and profile was created 2 minutes before I did this search. It was done on the Google Profile page and this is a very valuable tool.
If a searcher chooses to click on my profile they now have access to both my blog’s, my twitter profile page, my LinkedIn profile page, and my Facebook profile page. They can also see a personal bio I put together and some limited information about me. Here is a quick look at the profile page.
This page took 5 minutes to create and put me on Google’s front page with my picture in no time. If you think anyone will ever search for you and you want to be found. Then this is a simple strategy that you must follow to guarantee your spot on Google’s fist page. You can create your profile at Google Profiles. It’s as simple as filling out a form and following directions.