September 26, 2012
There are a lot of companies out there who work primarily locally. And while SEO is very important, local search can get you high up in listings faster than you can get there on organic search. If you set up local search you will be cutting your competition substantially and, best of all, it’s free.
On a search results page you will see sponsored links up top and to the right. These are what’s known as Pay Per Click campaigns. Next will be the local search, showing a map, and then finally will be the organic search. If you can show up on local search, you are only competing with the companies in your city rather than the rest of the world.
So how do you do this?
1. Set up a gmail account here: mail.google.com/mail/signup. You will need this to set up your Google Places account.
2. Next go here: www.google.com/places/ to set up your Google Places account.
3. Put in your gmail information on the right hand side and sign in.
4. Enter your business phone number and hit “find business information”
5. You will either be presented with your business or it will take you straight to a page where you can create an account. If your business show’s up, click the “Edit” button and fill out your information. If it doesn’t show up, then fill out your information on the page it takes you to.
6. Be as thorough as possible. If you go to the consumers home or office to provide your service, select a mile range you are willing to travel. This will determine in what areas of search you will show up in. Be prepared to upload a photo and a link to a YouTube video if you have one. You will also be asked to fill in Description, hours of operation, categories (for search), payment options and the like.
7. Once you do this and submit it, Google will call the number you put in and supply a PIN number to make it active. Enter the PIN number on your account page to activate it.
You can go back periodically and see how many impressions you got in the last 30 days as well as actions taken. It will tell you what search terms people used to bring up your business as well as how many clicked through to a map, driving directions or clicked through to your website. You can check back often and make adjustments to your campaign to optimize results.
Did I mention it’s free?
Now get out there and look good!
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