When it comes to digital marketing and SEO for your business, it’s important to look beyond just your website. For local businesses, a strong online marketing effort requires an investment in local directories, maps and review sites, too.
If all of your optimization efforts are spent on your site, you’re likely missing out on opportunities.
Google’s Pigeon algorithm update, released in July 2014, gave more prominence to local map and directory sites such as Yelp. In many instances, Yelp listings now rank above the business’ website.
For example, when you search on the query [bakery phoenix], you have to scroll past three map listings and three organic listings before you finally see a local business website listing. That first local business website is in position 7, essentially.
How many potential customers are going to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find your actual website? Nowhere near as many as are likely going to click on the map or directory listings that are more prominently positioned at the top of the search results page.
Thus, it’s important to make sure you’re watching these listings on a regular basis and optimizing your presence in the map and directory sites.
Step 1. Set Up Your Google My Business Account
The most important thing is to make sure you’re listed and your information is correct. You can do this for Google maps via Google My Business. Google My Business provides an easy way for a business owner to create a listing or claim an existing one, allowing them to ensure that their information is accurate and complete. Best of all, it’s free.
If you were signed up and verified through Google Places or Google + Pages, you should automatically be moved over to Google My Business.
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