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7 ways to optimize your local business listings

To record and monitor business information, Google is constantly updating and changing its way. 

Approximately 73 percent of all online activity is associated with local searches, as per Google statics. Local consumers are likely to search online information about businesses accessible in their area in order to find the best and reliable enterprises, where they can patronize.

No one knows your business better than your local customers. Therefore, it’s excellent to start with your local community first. Creating local business listings helps small businesses to upsurge the chances of being found by potential consumers. Local business listing is featured prominently in local SERP`s that enhance company visibility and awareness while demonstrating the essence of your brand.

Local searches play a significant part in driving business revenue. A latest survey conducted by Bright Local conclude that being found on local searches helps you to generate 21-23% of traffic for small business websites comparatively higher than another type of search, paid AdWords and social media campaign. Hence, local business listing is not something you can afford to ignore.

Now the question arises -- how you enhance Google local business listings?

Here are some tips for fine-tuning your business listing while helping potential customers find you online.

Get the Basics Right

Ensuring your Google My Business profile with accurate information is an initial step in letting customers find you online. Cross-check all your information included in business category, address, and opening hours to make sure it is completely pervaded. Incorrect or incomplete business category is probably the biggest negative factor, preventing search ranking.

The presence of malware, incorrect links and keyword stuffing is another factor that detracts search engine ranking. Therefore, make sure to check your website is in good condition.

Business Verification

Before your business listing appears on Google maps and searches, it requires verification. Confirmation of local business is a way in which Google ensure your information available is true. This plays an important role in optimizing Google maps listings for your business.

To verify your listing, you need to log into your Google My Business and requesting a postcard that comes in the form of unique verification code. Once it arrives, you can enter the unique verification code in GMB account to make it on the trot.

A Virtual Tour

In order to make your listing stand out, a virtual tour of your business is important. Likewise, Google Street view, a virtual tour of your business enable customers inside your business from the comfort of their own home. It’s the perfect way to present your premises in front of your potential customers. In addition, it helps in engaging customers towards your business, creating fun and interactive services and bringing your company’s workspace to life

In case you are willing to immerse potential customers and retail them on the experience of your business, creating a virtual tour of your business is significant to consider.

Being listed on Local Directories

Getting listed on major sites such as Google Local, Yahoo Local & Bing Places finishes only half the battle. A lot of local listing sites & directories are in a place where your local business need to be listed i.e. HotFrog, Manta, SuperMedia, Foursquare, MojoPages, Brownbook, InsiderPages, CitySquares, Yext etc.

The reasons behind are:

• It increase your visibility on local search results in order to increase your potential customers.

• It serves as the perfect medium to showcase your products and your services anytime, anywhere.

• It helps you to discover potential clients and create a positive image for your business with online reviews.It offers multiple service options like better search engine rank and authentic client reviews for businesses, enabling you to have an effective communication with your prospects.

Online Reviews

Positive online reviews goes a long way for enticing more customers through your door. Also, It also plays a major role in enhancing ranking, especially if the feedback encompasses keywords related to your business and locality.

Google enable you to request for feedbacks from people, who visited your store. Answering these feedback helps you to increase interaction with your customer base while generating buzz about your business. On the other side of the coin, negative reviews can make things worse. Before taking your customers to the world of online reviews, you need to be sure and confident about your customer service and products

Social Media Presence

For updating your customers about the latest news and offers, social media is one of the essential marketing tool. Foursquare, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and even blogs play an important role in establishing your listing while reaching out to potential customers. The more customers get aware of you, and post about you, the higher your business ranking will be.

The above step is not a direct means of enhancing your local business listing. Trustworthiness is another factor that Google looks for when ranking local results. Therefore, a decent social presence of your brand is necessary to maintain trust.

For online reviews, social channels play a major role in obtaining online reviews from customers, who visited your site. While enforcing links to your blogs and posts on sources like twitter helps a lot in improving the ranking of your website and Google listing

Enforce Geo-Tagging

Enforcing geographical data to pictures on external sites, or geo-tagging is valuable trick for adding the finishing touches to your optimization strategy. Adding geo-tagged pictures of your Google Maps location, business logo and storefront along with a customized description allows you to reach the top edge in local business ranking.

Summary

The above steps will go a long way to enhance business and Google Maps listing of your small business while keeping customers up-to-date about who you are and where you are.

To record and monitor business information, Google is constantly updating and changing its way. Hence, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve, using the whole spectrum of tools to make your business really stand out.

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.
I work as a digital marketer and Online reputation manager at Websetters, one of India’s leading online reputation company and web development company. I have 7+ year Experience in online marketing services.

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