Consumers are using their computers and phones on a daily basis, looking for local businesses to fit their needs. In fact, according to Google, their Place Pages are viewed millions of times each day. Unfortunately, with more than 50,000 companies in the Greater San Diego area (as reported by the California Economic Development Department), your business may not be one of the top results coming up in their computer or phone.
Google’s Stats & Facts page states that there are 50 million Place Pages listed through Google, creating a tremendous amount of competition for your business. Faced with this competition, it is important for you to ensure that your potential customers are finding you through their online searches.
Here are some tips that you can follow to get your business found by the more than 3 million San Diego County residents who are looking for products and services. Many of these tips can even be used if your business doesn’t have a website.
Make a name for yourself
First, you’re going to want to ensure you have a local business listing for the common search engines. An easy way to check if you are listed is by going to GetListed.org.
Once you see your missing opportunities, it’s time to get listed. For Google, Yahoo and Bing, you will first need to create accounts by going to the following URLs:
· Google: go to Google.com/Accounts
· Yahoo: go to Yahoo.com and click on “New here? Sign Up”
· Bing: go to Bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
Once you’ve created your accounts, add your local listing. Here are the locations you will want to go to for the major search engines and their tools:
· Google: go to Google.com/local/add
· Google Maps: go to maps.google.com
· Yahoo: go to listings.local.yahoo.com/account
· Bing: go to Bing.com/businessportal
Remember to review and update your listings periodically so you can ensure the information you provided is still relevant.
Don’t forget the directories
There are also websites that serve as virtual phonebooks. These directories are utilized by the major search engines for local search rankings. If your company isn’t listed with the directories, your local search ranking could be suffering. Some of these common directories include:
You can help boost your search engine rankings by getting customer reviews. Major sites like Yelp, Angies List, CitySearch and MerchantCircle allow consumers to rank various businesses. When you get positive reviews, you will also be gaining new customers.
Don’t be misled into thinking these sites are just for restaurants. Yelp has published statistics showing businesses reviewed on its site fall into just about every category, including: Auto, Arts/Entertainment, Beauty & Fitness, Health, Home & Local Services, Nightlife, Restaurants, Shopping, and Travel & Hotel.
The review sites also attract a variety of consumers falling into different age ranges, education and income levels. Yelp has researched its users and has found that they range from 18 to 50+, 65 percent have college degrees, and their income is spread out, with users trending in the higher income ranges (64 percent earn $60+ annually).
Once you’re listed on these sites, ask your customers to rate you. You can solicit ratings when you see or talk to customers or through your e-newsletter. You will want to monitor the sites actively so you can spot any negative reviews and do any necessary remediation to make the situation right.
Utilize SEO terms focused on San Diego
If your company has a website (which is highly recommended), be sure to incorporate geographic focused search engine optimization. To find the appropriate keywords to use on your site, you can use online tools like Keyword Grader, Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery.
When incorporating SEO, be sure to use the keywords in your page title, URL, header tags and page content of your site.
Create a blog that incorporates your industry and San Diego
Blogs are a fantastic way to create keyword rich content while also promoting your business. Use the same SEO tactics with your blog as you use with your website to ensure it helps local searchers find your business.
To fully take advantage of your blog, be sure to link from your blog to your business site and vice versa. Also, you can participate in other local blogs to increase the awareness of your blog. When you get more linking from other sites, this will also increase your search ranking.
Article courtesy of Daniela Baker, a social media advocate at the small business credit card comparison website, CreditDonkey.