Critical Factors for Local Search

Ever wonder why some of the most popular businesses in your area don’t show up prominently (or at all) in a Google search? You know they’re there, but the results would lead you to believe otherwise.

Assuming they’re online, it’s probably because they’ve neglected some key factors that make local searches successful for business. Here are some of the most critical items you should consider if you want your business to stand out in an online search.

Categorize your business correctly, consistently

When setting up an online business profile, categorize your business correctly and consistently from platform to platform. Your Google+ page should mimic your Bing profile, and so on. If your line of business is carpentry, it should appear this way everywhere. If you do some electrical on the side, stick with carpentry as your primary business and subcategorize electrical. Search engines reward businesses that are consistent across the board.

Sweat the details

Small errors, such as a typo in an address or street name, can derail an online search before it starts. Inconsistencies in naming can also leave you buried. Why? Because one small error has the potential to be duplicated multiple times. So if your business is incorrectly listed on Forth Street instead of Fourth Street, be sure to correct the error. The takeaway here? Take it slowly to avoid mistakes.

List your business on premium sites

Getting your business name on a handful of premium authoritative business directories will do far more to get you noticed than listing on several smaller, obscure ones. A good place to start is on Moz Local, where you’ll find some of the most reputable directories. Once you’ve established these, you can drill down to niche directories.

If you move, move online too

When your business moves, make it a priority to update all of your online profiles accordingly – the web won’t automatically do it for you.

In fact, if you don’t make updates, a search may reveal both your old and new address, which will confuse potential customers. An easy way to check if you’ve been thorough is to Google your business name and see what comes up. Go through each and update name, address and phone number (NAP) as needed.

Create a strong business website

Creating a robust business website will also raise your profile in an online search. Strive for content that visitors will link to or share via social media as well as key terms that identify your business. Every link, share and reference will enhance your online domain and increase your chances of ranking higher in a search. CrowdSpring highlights ten tips for creating a strong, search-worthy site.

By looking at the big picture and doing the small things right, your business can stand out online in local search efforts. After all, showing up isn’t just half the battle, it’s the whole objective.

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