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Local SEO: Tips for Beginners to Start Ranking

Local SEO is an extremely important part of making sure prospective clients discover your business when they need it. But let’s be honest, when you’re already working as manager, employee, accountant, social media manager, and the list goes on – How do you find time to optimize your business listing? Either you hire a Local SEO Company or you have to try and get some big wins, with little time & effort. The good news is whichever you decide to choose – we are here to help!

STEP ONE: Claim Your FREE Business Listings

If you haven’t done this, it is your starting point – and the good news is: IT’S EASY!

In many cases, your business may already be showing up in the main online directories, and the only thing you need to do is claim the listing. Once you claim the listing you will be able to update any incomplete/inconsistent the information. The main things to ensure are accurate are you NAPW (Name, Address, Phone Number & Website). Google has confirmed that the consistency of all of these factors is one of the main factors they consider for ranking (especially in the Local Map Pack)
So now that you understand how important Local Directory Listings can be to help give you a critical SEO Boost, you might be wondering – where do I start!? Here is a list of the 7 main directories you can claiming your listing on – AND THEY ARE ALL FREE!

Google My Business

Well, this one should go without saying, but if you are trying to rank on Google local listings it is most important you claim & verify your business immediately. Once that is done, consider adding appropriate photos that will help customers gain a feel for your brand & invite them to try your products/services. Google My Business in its own words, “connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.”

PRO-TIP: Utilize “Google Posts”, these new additions in 2018 are FREE to use, can include eye-catching photos and add additional real-estate to the space you take up when customers click on your listing. All these factors have been found to increase click-through rates.

Facebook Business Page

Social signals are another way that Google keeps track of how to rank your site. The more social proof you can show, the more willing Google is willing to show you! Make sure you setup a Facebook page for your business and keep it up to date.

How to claim or edit your business listing:

If you need to claim your Business Page, click here if you need to sign up for a business page,click here

Yelp for Business

According to Yelp, “Millions of people visit Yelp every month to find great local businesses. Help them find your business — free!” Any platform that is built for customers to find local business based on categories and allows you to list for free is another no-brainer!

How to claim/edit your business listing: Click here to search for your business. If your business already exists, you’ll see two options: a “Claim button” or an “Already Claimed” link. Click whichever option you see and then log in or set up an account to edit it.

Bing Places for Business

Bing is another search engine that allows you similar opportunities to Google. It is important to note Bing is used significantly less than Google but it would still be foolish to simply ignore it.
How to claim or edit your business listing: Chances are, Bing already has listings for your business. Click here to claim them.

Yellow Pages

The YellowPages still exist online, and although they are not the go-to source for people to find local businesses anymore, there are still a great deal of searches conducted through it every month. It is free to list, and again it counts as a citation and the more you build, the more positive signals are sent to Google about your businesses credibility.
How to claim or edit your business listing:Click here and follow the instructions for adding/updating your business details.

Foursquare for Business

Foursquare states, “Over 50 million people use Foursquare to discover great businesses and share what they love about them with others.” That is a lot of opportunity, so make sure you take advantage of this free listing opportunity! Be aware, in order to “Claim” the listing they now charge a one-time $20 fee to VERIFY the business. You can still suggest edits without paying the fee, but you will not be able to get any of your stats, or add photos.

How to claim or edit your business listing: Start by searching for your business, then select your listing. If you don’t see your business, click the link at the bottom of the page to add it. Click here to manage your listing.

BONUS TIP: Use Google My Business to Monitor Insights

If you don’t have/use Google Analytics or Google Search Console setup for your business, Google My Business offers it’s own “Insights” built into the GMB Platform. It’s a great place to start if you haven’t had any statistics in the past. I also highly suggest downloading the app. This way you are notified anytime you get a review, you can add photos directly from your phone, and even make posts on the go!

As you get more comfortable going through statistics, I strongly recommend you start using Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The data on these platforms is extremely important when helping you decide on future SEO & marketing strategies

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