The Internet is a big place. There are millions of websites online providing all kinds of information. So the question is with all these websites how can your visitors find you? Well, there are many answers to that question. There are free options and then theres paid options. For this article we are going to focus on the free options and some of the tools that you can use to help you.
Disclaimer: This article discuss branded search rather than organic search engine ranking methods.
Depending on the type of business that you have you may have stiff competition. Take it from us we know, as the web field is quite a challenge to reach the top of the heap. With fierce competition there are things, free things, that you can do to for clients to find you.
Google My Business
We all know by now that Google is the king of search. But have you ever Googled your company? What did you find? If your company didn’t show up, then how are your customer supposed to contact you? Well Google My Business can help. Have you noticed when you Google some company’s they have this listing on the right of your search page?
This is the knowledge panel. It displays when your business is registered and verified with Google My Business. It’s simple to get your and all you need is to have a Google+ profile. Just go to the Google+ home page and click the sign up button in the upper right hand corner. Click the create account link beneath the form, then follow the steps to create your new account.
After you’ve completed your registration, click you profile picture. At the bottom you’ll click “All your Google+ pages”. On the bottom right click the plus sign, then “Add a location”. A map will display, enter you business name. If your not registered it won’t find your business. Click the option “I’ve correctly entered the name and address”. From here you can enter your business information and submit it to Google.
Google will send you a postcard in the mail to verify your business and then your done.
Facebook Business Page
Everyone is one is on Facebook, well 17% of the worlds population about 1.2 billion people. Needless to say that is a lot of people going to one website monthly. All these people will not be your potential client but you should definitely have a presence.
A Facebook business page provides a communication portal between you and your potential clients. You can provide them with useful content and information that they can interact with. This is the perfect way to build a following and when ready market to.
Setting up a Facebook business page is super simple. Of course you need to have a Facebook profile to setup a page. In the header click the down arrow to the far right of your profile image.
A dropdown menu will appear, click create page to get started. You will be presented with options for the type of page you want to create. Choose the best option for your brand or company. Make sure that you fill out everything on your new page completely.
You want to treat this new page as an alternative to your website. Remember social media has become peoples first stop for information nowadays.
Yelp is a powerful place to have to your business since so many people use it as a trusted source. People check yelp for almost anything related to services to check reviews and pricing. It would be in an companies best interest to include their business on yelp.
With Yelp, you want to make an effort to build your reputation with reviews. This fact also holds true for both your Google local page and Facebook. You want to think of it as a digital voice speaking for you, plus people tend to take reviews to heart.
Keep in mind when it comes to reviews for services, it is far harder to get a good review than it is a bad one. Make sure that you are asking your clients to leave a review if you know you did a fantastic job.
Before diving into the tools to use for ensuring that your listed in the right local directories, I want to discuss the use of directories. When submitting to a directory, you want to make sure it is reputable. Submitting your business or website anywhere could in fact hurt your websites ranking.
This is due to the low quality links that your website is receiving from these bad directories. How do I spot there “bad directories”? Well, if I Googled “web design directories”, I would get a list of directories. I would then go to their sites and check there Alexa stats. If they have poor stats, not mention poor design, I wouldn’t place my business in there directory.
The below tools that I’m going to go over list reputable directories, that can help in local search.
Moz provides an awesome free tool that you can use to check your business in local listings. Moz Local will analyze your business listed across popular free directories on the internet. The tool will show you where your listed, opportunities for listings, and inconsistent information.
From within the tool, it will direct you to were you can register with these directories. Keep in mind that some of these directories take longer to get into than others. So of them will flat out tell you that there slow at reviewing and entering your company.
Moz does offer a paid service to submit your business into directories. The service is yearly based on the number of locations that your business has.
Yext provides a similar service to Moz Local, except they scan far more directories. Unlike Moz, Yext does not provide the links to the directories for you to submit or update your listing. Yext does offer a paid service, which allows you to submit your listing to all directories at once.
The Yext paid service is more expensive than Moz due to its more advanced features. Yext makes it far easier to update your listing in one place than any other service I have seen.
Having your business listed on these sites definitely will help your visibility. But it doesn’t mean that you will have a wave of clients knocking down your door. This just makes it easier for the ones considering your services to find you.
This should complement your marketing efforts that you already have in place. Are there other good directories or websites that should I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comment section. I did leave a lot of directories out since the tools scan them. I wanted to bring to light what I felt where the big three to make sure your on.Tags: local search, search