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Old 12th March 2007, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Google Enhances Local Business Listings

In a move that will benefit small businesses having a brick and mortar location, Google has made some improvements to its local listing capability.

If you go over to the Local Business Center, you can create a free listing for your business and have it displayed on Google Maps. On that listing you can include a substantial amount of information, including a description of your business. street address, website URL, telephone number, hours of operation, payment methods accepted, and many other details to help prospective buyers. You can even offer discount coupons for customers.

A really helpful feature is that you now can load up to ten images with your listing. For instance, you could include pictures of your premises, photos of the team, your company logo, even products.
I believe local search is a valuable tool for small businesses. If you own a small business and have a storefront location, you'd be wise to read Anita's full article and take advantage of the new services that Google has to offer relating to local search.

I'd really like to hear testimonials from our readers regarding their experiences with local search. Are you using it? Have you seen an increase in interest as a result? Do you feel that this has been beneficial to your small business? Are there any other features that you'd like to see incorporated into the local search capabilities that are not currently available? Do you find that it's user friendly?

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Old 14th March 2007, 09:42 AM   #2

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I've done a lot of local listings for clients over the years, and in all honesty it is not something that I would say is typically going to drive a lot of traffic. But, with listings such as Google Maps .... since there are no fees - it just makes sense to setup a good local search marketing promotion. I will say, compared to other search marketing like seo and pay per click ... local search typically is a one time thing and then you move on based on my experiences. You establish your listing, but that's about as far as it typically goes versus seo/ppc where it is more an ongoing process.

The biggest issue in providing feedback for me, is actually knowing what it provides. This was good to see is another improvement -

you now will be able to see statistics about how many people view and click on your business listing.
To me the crux of the issue is where people search.

Based on my experiences, most of my local search marketing traffic has been based on optimizing pages with geo-location keywords.

SEO for geo-locations is the most important tactic in my opinioin. I do see a lot of traffic by making sure the contact us page is optimized for any sites location... plus other pages and link text. I've yet to encounter a customer who isn't interested in selling more locally - and geo-location keywords usually are very good/qualified to target. Addtionally, you can target thru optimization other areas outside your local geographic areas. For example, I have a client who sells tradeshow supplies and in addition to targeting their local area we also target the top 8 metro areas they serve across the country. So they target Dallas widgets, Chicago widgets, etc even though they are not directly there but do serve those areas. Some other clients I work with have office locations in many cities and again it is often very relevant to optimize pages based on their various physical locations.

So local listings like Google Maps are okay, my experiences have been that more traffic is from people search google/yahoo/msn for 'My City + widgets'. Based on my logs and experiences that's still where most local search traffic is ... for now. I've worked on several sites that target every city/state (i.e. yellow pages) and I am sure most search a general search using their local geo keywords. If you can create a site (i.e. restaurant directory) that targets every city/state ... that alone can be a target market that is very large.

Outside of seo, here are places to list your local business -

Google Local

And for those with many locations Google does provide a bulk upload

Yahoo Local

The follow are YP sources ...




As mentioned, with these type of local listings its pretty much a one and done thing. I don't think you will thrive with these local listings, but good to have and targeting geo keywords in G/Y/M can bring in a fair amount of traffic (consider country, state, city, metro areas, counties, zip codes, area codes for keywords)

On top of that, if you are making money ... you can also really setup good local ppc campaigns for your keywords. This includes specifying a geographic area by distance, zip code, metro area or whichever way you want.

If you combine local/yp listings, seo geo campaigns and a ppc campaign based on your geo location ... you can establish a fair amount of business ... but that is all relevant to the actual size of your local population being targeted. Expectations should be adjusted between NYC and Topeka.

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Old 19th July 2007, 09:54 PM   #3

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Wasn't aware of Googles Local Business listings. Loading up images is very impressive. Thanks so much for the info.

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Old 20th July 2007, 05:52 PM   #4

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I totally agree with Logan. This comes after years of tracking traffic long before G maps became more important, visable, and relevant as it has been dropped into organic search....and Logan's suggestions remain the key even as G maps has gained in traffic.

My main business site also managed to rank high and in some cases at #1 serps position for key industry phrases. The site would attract SE traffic from both the industry phrases and the longer tail industry/geo associated phrases.

Over several years of tracking I would see the following trends repeatedly with regard to SE traffic; 1/3 of the traffic was for relevant industry phrases, including the #1 phrase in the industry; 1/3 of the traffic was for phrases that were combos of industry phrases and geo phrases, and 1/3 of the traffic was for less convertable phrases that pulled from the content on the site.

The combo industry/geo phrases converted dramatically better than the industry phrases-which also converted. The non-relevant phrases that drew traffic rarely converted. That is still the case.

The site was primarily optimized when it was easier and cheaper to compete. With new sites representing local businesses today I'd never spend a minute trying to compete for industry phrases. It wouldn't be worth the time, effort, or money.

Of interest, over the last several months since widespread visability of g maps in the serps its visability has evolved and changed with regard to various searches. It is probably still a moving target. It is worthwhile to register a business with g maps and the other local maps but I wouldn't depend on it. I'd put more energy into overall serps visability for a wide variety of phrases.

The best description of the process I've ever seen or heard is located at http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/006710.html

Read the excerpt from Jake Baillie. Jake was the head of TrueLocal and had to have seen millions of queries. It absolutely describes how to gain lots of local relevant search traffic.

Beyond that I'd emphasize....optimize, optimize, optimize for the most valuable combo business/industry geo phrases. That works.

Lastly...to better reflect my main business traffic.....of the relevant traffic that was both industry and industry/geo related....the trends were as follows;

the industry phrase traffic might have reflected about 20 terms including the most competitive term, the 3 or 4 next most competitive and important terms and a bunch of longer tail phrases. I might see something like 100-400 visits for the #1 term in a month.

The industry/geo terms might at the highest show a single phrase with 15-20 visits. But there were possibly 100 significant variations of the top twenty industry phrases with many geo phrases.

On the other hand the aggregate total of all those geo phrases invariably was similar to the aggregate total of the industry phrases....and of course they convert at a dramatically higher rate.

To summarize what Jake said......expand your keywords all over the place for both business/industry terms and expand your keywords for all sorts of relevant geo phrases. Then I'd add optimize, optimize, optimize...to get good rankings.


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Old 22nd July 2007, 09:32 AM   #5
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Too bad I can't really contribute on localized seo assistance even though I believe it may assist in overall rankings, but this is a fantastic topic and I wanted to be sure to get all the replies....


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Old 10th April 2008, 06:28 PM   #6
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Default Google Maps Bad Idea IMHO

The Google Maps listings are now displayed BEFORE web sites in a local search in my area.
I do not agree with this at all.
It makes it far too easy for scammers to create listings w/o websites.
And now, they get ranked before websites do.
Shame on you Google, this is a bad idea.

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Old 21st May 2008, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Wow thanks!

I am passing this on, what great information!

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Old 23rd May 2008, 09:03 PM   #8
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Default Free Google Web Pages

OMG, LOOK at this ?
Google now has FREE Webpages.

Gotta LOVE Google's free web page maker ?
I made this page in 5 minutes with Google Page Maker

pages.google.com/edit/TampaRoofCleaning/home?authtoken=e16e2adb2482e0b9ad9c89de54294a0c0fb 05b45

A Tip for everyone.
Name your page and pages after your keywords ?

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Old 16th August 2011, 01:59 AM   #9

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google local listing is best option for small medium entrepreneurs to promote their business.

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