What are Local Listings?

When a user makes a search, the engine will automatically group and list results that are in the user’s local geographical area. These are called Local Listings and are also ranked. Generally, they appear near the top of the page, providing great exposure for your company. Best of all, the service is absolutely free!

Google’s local listings in particular are a powerful marketing tool. Called “Google Places”, they allow you to create a unique page for your business. Here, you can write a description, post photos and videos, put up a map (with street-view) and leave a space for ratings and reviews from your clients.

How will Local Listings Help My Business?

Simple: your business will be listed near the top of the page in search engine results. People will be able to find you quicker, with your address and contact information clearly displayed. Even better, Google Maps allows users to zoom into your company’s location so they can see your business before ever having left their homes. Of course, listings will also drive traffic to your website and increase your company’s exposure.

How Do I Place a Local Listing?

Pick a search engine (such as Google or Bing) and set up a free account, or use an existing e-mail account.

Google Places can be found here: www.google.com/places

Bing can be accessed through their Business Portal: www.bing.com/businessportal

Remember: local listings will only help you if your business has a specific geographic location. Online businesses do not count!

Tips for Effective Local Listings

Just like your website, local listings require optimization. Those results deemed most relevant appear nearer to the top, making them more likely to be seen and clicked. When you create a listing, make sure you include specific key words related directly to your business. A detailed and complete description on your Google Places Page helps immensely. Posting pictures and videos will make your business more attractive and draw clicks, pushing up your rank. Finally, if users leave positive reviews and comments, you can expect a higher rating, too.