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Home » Marketing » How to get your business listed on local search engines

How to get your business listed on local search engines

We’ve all done the famous “best mechanic near me” searches. While the phrase sounds weird from a marketing standpoint, it’s one of the top ways that individuals look for business in their locality.

When customers search for local businesses online, you want your company to show up at the top of the results.

Local search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo prioritize geographically relevant results when users search for products or services nearby.

To get found by local customers searching online, you need to list your business on these platforms. Here’s how to get started.

What are local search engines?

Local search engines help people find businesses in a specific geographic area. When you search for “pizza near me” or “dentist in New York,” the results prioritize local businesses matching that description.

Listing your business on local search engines makes it easier for potential customers to discover you when searching for relevant products or services in your area. Local listings display key information like your address, phone number, website, hours, and customer reviews.

Optimizing your local listings improves your visibility in local search results. This drives more traffic to your website and foot traffic to your physical location.

Why should your business be listed on local search engines?

Listing your business on local search engines increases online visibility and attracts more local customers, boosting revenue. Appearing in local search results establishes credibility and makes it easier for potential customers to find and engage with you.

Key benefits of listing your business on local search engines include the following.

  • Increased visibility: Local listings make your business more discoverable when customers search for relevant products or services in your area. Higher visibility leads to more website traffic, phone calls, and in-store visits.
  • Competitive advantage: If your competitors are listed on local search engines and you’re not, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of the market. Listing your business levels the playing field and allows you to compete for local search traffic.
  • Improved credibility: Verified local listings with accurate information and positive reviews signal to customers that your business is trustworthy and reputable. This increases the likelihood that they’ll choose you over an unlisted competitor.
  • Valuable insights: Many local search platforms provide analytics on how customers find and interact with your listing. This data helps you understand your audience better and make informed marketing decisions.
  • Cost-effective marketing: Creating and maintaining local listings is generally free or low-cost compared to other forms of advertising. It’s a budget-friendly way to attract more local customers and grow your business.
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How to get your business listed on local search engines

Here are 8 steps that can get you up and running and get your business listed on local search engines.

1. Claim your Google business profile

You can manage your business information across Google, including Search and Maps, by setting up and verifying your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business).

  • To get started, visit the Google Business Profile website and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have one, create a new account.
  • Search for your business by name and address. If your business appears in the search results, click on it and follow the prompts to claim your listing. If your business doesn’t appear, click on the “Add your business” button and provide the necessary information, such as your business name, address, phone number, website, and category.
  • After submitting your information, you’ll need to verify your business. Google offers several verification methods, including by mail, phone, email, or instant verification (for select businesses). Choose the method that works best for you and follow the instructions provided.
  • Once your business is verified, you have full control over your Google Business Profile. Add photos, update your business hours, respond to reviews, and create posts to keep your customers informed and engaged. Make sure that the information you add here is 100% accurate. 
  • Regularly check your Google Business Profile dashboard to ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date. Respond to customer reviews and questions in a timely manner, as this can help improve your local search rankings and build trust with potential customers.

By claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile, you increase your chances of appearing in local search results when potential customers search for businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps.

2. Optimize your business listing

Once you’ve claimed your Google Business Profile, fill out all the relevant information about your business. This includes your business name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, and business category. Consistency is key – make sure this information matches what’s listed on your website and other online directories.

Choose the most accurate categories for your business. If you offer multiple services, select categories that best describe each service. For example, if you run a salon that also offers massage therapy, choose “Hair Salon” and “Massage Therapist” as your categories.

Next, craft a compelling business description that highlights your unique value proposition. What sets you apart from competitors? Do you offer any special promotions or discounts? Keep it concise yet informative.

Adding photos and videos to your listing makes it more visually appealing and engaging. Include high-quality images of your storefront, interior, products, and team. This gives potential customers a better sense of what to expect when they visit your business.

You can also create posts on your Google Business Profile to share updates, special offers, and events. Posts keep your listing fresh and can encourage customers to visit your business.

Optimizing your logo is another way to make your listing stand out. Your logo appears on your Google Business Profile and in local search results. Ensuring your logo is well-designed and optimized for SEO improves your listing’s visibility and click-through rate.

Finally, regularly monitor and update your listing to maintain accuracy. Respond to customer reviews and questions promptly to show that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.

3. Get listed on other local directories

In addition to Google, submit your business information to other popular online directories. These include general platforms like Yelp, Bing Places, and Apple Maps, as well as industry-specific directories relevant to your niche.

Research the most important directories for your business type and location. For example, a restaurant might prioritize listing on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and OpenTable, while a law firm might focus on Avvo and FindLaw.

When creating your listings, ensure that your business name, address, phone number, and website (NAPW) are consistent across all platforms. Inconsistent information can confuse potential customers and negatively impact your local search rankings.

Many directories allow you to add photos, videos, and detailed descriptions of your business. Take advantage of these features to showcase your products, services, and unique value proposition.

Some directories, like Yelp, rely heavily on customer reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on these platforms to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Regularly monitor your listings across all directories to ensure accuracy and respond to any customer inquiries or reviews in a timely manner.

While some directories may charge a fee for enhanced features or advertising, most allow you to create a basic listing for free. Focus on the directories that are most likely to drive qualified traffic to your business.

Moz Local and Yext are popular tools that can help you manage your business listings across multiple directories from a single dashboard. These tools streamline the process of creating, updating, and monitoring your listings, saving you time and effort.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to local search. By maintaining accurate and up-to-date listings across multiple directories, you signal to search engines that your business is legitimate and trustworthy, improving your chances of ranking well in local search results.

4. Encourage customer reviews

Customer reviews significantly impact your local search rankings and influence potential customers’ decisions to choose your business.

Proactively ask satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile and other local listings. You can request reviews via email, text message, or in person after a positive interaction.

Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by providing direct links to your review pages. You can include these links in follow-up emails, on receipts, or on your website.

Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a professional and timely manner. Thank customers for their positive feedback and address any concerns raised in negative reviews. This shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.

5. Optimize your website for local SEO

Your website serves as the digital storefront for your business. Optimizing it for local search engines increases your chances of appearing in relevant local search results.

Start by including your city, state, and local keywords naturally throughout your website’s content. This helps search engines understand your business’s location and relevance to local searches.

Incorporate your location in key places like your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and body text. For example, if you’re a plumber in Chicago, your title tag could be “Chicago Plumbing Services | Your Company Name.”

Create dedicated pages for each of your business’s locations if you have multiple offices or serve several areas. These location-specific pages should include unique, relevant content about each location, such as the address, phone number, hours of operation, and local customer reviews.

Embed a Google Map on your contact page or footer to help customers find your business easily. Ensure that your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are consistent across your website and match your local listings on other platforms.

Add location-specific content to your website, such as blog posts about local events, news, or customer success stories. This demonstrates your business’s involvement in the community and provides valuable information to potential customers.

Optimize your website’s images by including relevant local keywords in the file names, alt tags, and captions. This helps search engines understand the context of your images and can improve your local search visibility.

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly. Many customers use mobile devices to search for local businesses, so a responsive website that provides a seamless user experience across devices is essential for local SEO success.

Implement an internal linking structure that connects your location-specific pages, local content, and main service pages. This helps search engines understand your website’s structure and can improve the flow of link equity throughout your site.

Small businesses can benefit from following best practices for local SEO to improve their website’s visibility in local search results. By focusing on these key elements, you enhance your chances of attracting local customers through organic search.

6. Use local schema markup

Local schema markup provides search engines with structured data about your business, such as your address, phone number, and operating hours. This helps search engines better understand and display your business information in local search results.

To implement local schema markup, you’ll need to add specific HTML tags to your website’s code. The most common format for local business schema is JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data), which can be added to the section of your website.

Here’s an example of JSON-LD schema markup for a local business:

Replace the example information with your own business details, including your business name, address, phone number, and opening hours.

You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to validate your schema markup and ensure it’s correctly implemented on your website.

In addition to the basic local business schema, you can add more specific schema types based on your business category. For example, a restaurant might include the “menu” and “acceptsReservations” properties, while a medical practice could consist of the “medicalSpecialty” and “priceRange” properties.

Other relevant schema types for local businesses include:

  • Review: Add review schema to showcase customer reviews and ratings on your website.
  • Product: Use product schema to provide detailed information about your products, such as price, availability, and descriptions.
  • Event: If your business hosts events, use event schema to promote them in search results.

Implementing local schema markup improves your website’s chances of appearing in rich results, such as Google’s Knowledge Panel, and enhances your visibility in local search results. Search engines use schema markup to better understand the context and content of your website, making it easier for potential customers to find your business when searching for relevant products or services in their area.

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7. Build local citations

Local citations refer to online mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on directories, websites, and social media platforms. When your NAP is consistently listed across various sites, it sends a strong signal to search engines that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.

To build local citations, start by identifying the most relevant directories for your industry and location. In addition to general directories like Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places, look for niche-specific directories that cater to your target audience. For example, a restaurant might benefit from listing on OpenTable or TripAdvisor, while a law firm could focus on Avvo or FindLaw.

When submitting your business information to directories, provide as much detail as possible. Include your business hours, a detailed description of your products or services, photos, and any other relevant information that helps potential customers learn more about your business.

Building local citations takes time and effort, but it’s a valuable investment in your local SEO strategy. Consistent, accurate citations help search engines understand your business and increase your chances of appearing in local search results when potential customers are looking for products or services like yours.

8. Engage with your local community

Engaging with your local community increases your business’s visibility and helps build relationships that can lead to more customers and improved local search rankings.

Look for opportunities to participate in local events, such as festivals, fairs, or charity fundraisers. Setting up a booth or sponsoring an event puts your business in front of potential customers and demonstrates your commitment to the community.

Consider partnering with other local businesses to cross-promote services or offer bundled packages. For example, a hair salon could partner with a nearby spa to offer a “day of beauty” package. These partnerships expand your reach and provide value to customers.

Joining local business associations or chambers of commerce connects you with other business owners and community leaders. Attend networking events and share your expertise to establish your business as a trusted resource in your industry.

Supporting local charities or sports teams through sponsorships or donations also increases your visibility and goodwill in the community. Choose organizations that align with your business values and target audience.

Encourage your employees to volunteer for local causes or participate in community events. This not only gives back to the community but also helps your business build a positive reputation.

Share your community involvement on your website and social media channels. Post photos and updates about events you participate in or organizations you support. This content showcases your business’s local engagement and can attract customers who value community-minded businesses.

As you explore business ideas for online selling, don’t forget the importance of local engagement. Even if your business operates primarily online, connecting with your local community can help you build a strong foundation and attract customers who value supporting local businesses.

Tips for maintaining your local search presence

Maintaining a strong local search presence demands attention to detail and a proactive approach. Here are tips to ensure your business continues to thrive in local search results:

1. Keep your information up-to-date

Business information changes over time. Regular audits of your local listings across platforms help you maintain accuracy. This includes your hours of operation, contact information, and any service or product updates. Consistency across platforms reinforces your business’s reliability in the eyes of search engines and customers.

2. Monitor and respond to reviews

Online reviews significantly influence potential customers and your local search ranking. Actively monitor reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp. Timely responses to both praise and criticism show commitment to customer satisfaction and can influence public perception positively.

3. Analyze your performance

Tools such as Google Analytics present valuable insights into how users find and interact with your listing. Google Search Console offers an overview of your site’s search results performance, highlighting opportunities for optimization. Regular analysis helps you understand your local search presence and guides strategic adjustments.

Final thoughts

Listing your business on local search engines opens doors to new customers and opportunities for growth. This crucial step not only enhances your visibility but also establishes your business as a credible and accessible option for potential customers in your area. If you haven’t put in the time to explore local search engines yet, you should do it today.

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Our AI designer can help generate various logos that fit your industry and brand image, with the option to customize every element of the logo.

How to get your business listed on local search engines: Frequently asked questions

What is the most important local search engine for businesses?

Google remains the leading platform due to its vast user base and integration of listings with Maps and Search.

How long does it take for my business to appear in local search results?

Listings typically appear within a few days of submission and verification, though search engine indexing times can vary.

Do I need to pay to get my business listed on local search engines?

Most local search engine listings are free, but some platforms offer paid options for enhanced visibility.

Can I list my business on local search engines if I don’t have a physical storefront?

Yes, service-area businesses can list without a physical storefront but must specify service areas.

How often should I update my business information on local listings?

Review and update your listings at least quarterly or anytime your business information changes.

Local search engine visibility can significantly enhance your brand’s online presence and customer reach. LogoMaker aids in creating a professional and memorable brand identity that stands out in local listings and across digital platforms.

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