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Marketing Your Local Business Online
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Marketing Your Local Business Online

In today’s technology driven world it has become more important to start marketing your local business online. Nowadays people use the internet to search for local services and products, having your business show up on local searches will increase your customer base and your bottom line.

There are several different tactics that can be used to increase your business exposure online on a local level. Today I will talk about some basic tools that you can use to start gaining local visibility for your business in turn start to increase your customer base.

To get started you need to claim your business listing on Google Places. Head over to Google and search your business name. More than likely Google will already have your listing there as they seek out all businesses and they create a listing but not a complete listing.

Once you have found your business listing on Google, there will be a link that says: edit this page – Business owner? Click on this link to get started.

Fill in all your business information such as business name, address, phone, website, email address, fax number etc…

For your description in this spot your will need to write a description that will help Google know what type of business you have to better place your listing. For example if you are a plumber in Indianapolis you could write something like this:

Indianapolis Plumbers XYZ Plumbing has over 20 years experience in servicing the local residents and commercial businesses in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.

Next you will have an opportunity to select categories for your listing. You can have up to 5 categories for your business listing. If you start typing in your business type a list of categories will populate for you to pick from.

Google also gives you the opportunity to create your own category. I do not recommend this. Stick to the categories that Google suggests for better results. Some businesses will find that they can’t fill up all 5 categories and that is ok don’t worry about this too much.

Next you will be able to define your service area and location settings. If all customers come to your business just check that option. The other option is to pick a service area if you service your customers at their locations.

Next you can display your business hours or you can hide your business hours. I recommend you display your hours as you want to fill in as much information as you can about your business.

The next section is for your payment options. Fill in all the ways people can pay your business for your services and or products.

Next you have an option to add photos. Do not skip this step. This is your opportunity to display pictures of your staff, storefront, popular products, and logos among other things. This will help potential consumers get familiar with you and your business. Have fun with this and add 10 pictures for maximum benefit.

In the next section you can add videos. Again another important part of the process not something you want to leave out of your listing. If you are just starting out with your online business marketing and do not have videos already made for your business don’t worry. You can make some fast free videos with Youtube. Head to Google and do a search for “youtube search stories”. Here you can create fast free videos. Have fun with this. I will talk more on this topic in another article.

Finally in the last section you have an option to add additional details about your business. You can add details like brand names of products you carry or details about parking while visiting your location.

Now it is time to submit your listing. Once you are happy with all the company information you have entered click on the submit button and you will be taken to a verification process. You can verify your listing either via phone or mail.

Once you have completed your verification process your business listing will be live within 24 hours. Now if you already have a website you can help your Google places listing by adding a KML file to your website. This file will help Google connect your listing with your website as an additional verification. It isn’t mandatory to do this however it is recommended as it shows Google you have taken an extra step to ensure the listing is accurate to your business.

It is also recommended that you format your address information on your business website exactly how you have it on your Google Places listing as another step to ensure accurate business listing information in a uniform manner.

Now you can head over to Yahoo and Bing business portal and claim your online business listing on these search engines as well. The format is a little different however since you just successfully completed your business listing on Google you will fly through the process on these platforms. 

Street Talk

Great article Susan. Very important to get those businesses listed or they could be missing out on some customers. All good information that any local business can use and drive traffic to their location.

  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for the kind words Rodney. It is important for local businesses to get on board with internet marketing and starting out with Google Places, Bing and Yahoo will bring them results relativity fast when done right.

  about 1 decade ago
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