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by Andy Williams on 14th May 2014
Hi guys. Today I’m going to be talking about essential local listings for local SEO. Now the reason I’m looking to this section of local SEO is because you find that a lot of local businesses who have a presence online are wondering why they’re not ranking locally for their terms, and it could well be that they’ve optimised their site for local SEO, they’ve got all the correct information on there, but they’re still not appearing in the rankings. So this is probably the area why that’s happening. So we’re going to have a look at that today. We’re going to have a look at what you should be doing.
So first off, the sort of information that you’re looking to make sure is within all of these profiles is your name, address, and your phone number. These are the three most essential pieces of information that you need to include on any listing that you create where possible. The reason for this is because this creates a citation. It creates like a tick or a vote that the information on your website is indeed correct, so the two can marry up and that kind of creates a bit more strength to your site, it backs up the fact the information on your site is correct, and therefore Google can work with that a bit closer.
It’s also important to make sure that the information you put on any profile site or any listing site is exactly the same as what you have on your site. So if your address is set out in a certain way on your site, make sure that you completely duplicate that, every single word for word, on any profile that you do. If you use abbreviations on your profile sites, that could stop the information being married up, and that could just hold you back. It’s not quite sending out the correct signals. It could cause confusion with Google. Before you know it, they could be setting up profiles all over the place thinking that’s two totally different businesses, and you don’t want that.
So the first areas that you should be looking at, and I’m sure a majority of you have already done that, is looking at the following sites, and that’s Google+, Google local and business areas as well as Google Maps, and you want to look at Yahoo Local and Bing Local as well. Now these are all very authoritative platforms, and although you’re probably looking to rank more often than not in Google, the fact that you’ve got a presence on Yahoo Local and Bing Local means that this information will actually work for you. These are very, very trusted sites, and Google will pay attention to it. So that should be your first stop. You should make sure you fill in the profiles as much as you can. Again, make sure the information matches exactly what you’ve got on your website.
From there, you’re looking at Internet yellow page sites, and we’re looking at the likes of Yell.com, 192.com, ThomsonLocal.com, and these sorts of sites. These again are very, very authoritative. A lot of information is probably already used by Google, especially from Yell. It used to be the case that when you went looking for a profile on Google and you found that there was one already there, it was because they’d used the information from Yell.com.
So if you do go looking in Google+ and you find there’s already a profile there, that’s the reason why. So that’s great. That means you’ve got a presence on Yell.com. If you haven’t, then make sure you get one. You don’t have to go for a paid listing. If you go for a free one, it means, of course, you don’t get the link back to your site, but it does mean that you’ve got your name, address, and phone number in there, and that’s the information you want to go down.
From there on in, you’re looking at more local directories, local business directories, local sites, and these have to have local intent. That’s very, very important, because if you go for a free directory and you put your information in there and you think you’ve done a good job, that could potentially work against you. These aren’t the sort of sites you should be looking at. They need to have local intent behind them. We’re talking about the likes of Yelp, Citysearch, Smile Local, Brownbook, Tipped, Foursquare, all of these type of sites. All of these have local intent behind them. You’re able to put your location, and you’re able to search on these sites for a location.
What you want to do, again, is make sure the information matches what you’ve got on your website, but also make sure, where appropriate and where possible, fill in the profiles as much as you can because the more information that you can provide, the more this looks like a trusted profile. Again, make sure you verify these profiles. That proves that you’ve got ownership of this page. It also stops other people taking ownership of it and using it for the wrong reasons. But the fact that it is verified and you’ve filled out your profile completely, this is a big tick in the box. It shows to Google that you’re managing it, you’re on top of it, and the information in there should be trusted. So these are the sort of sites that you should be looking at. Depending on what sector you’re in, of course, depends on which ones you would use. So you need to do a bit of research beforehand just to make sure you’re not just putting them in any old directory. These need to be relevant to you. The likes of Yelp and Foursquare and things like that are more generic, and one size pretty much fits all.
Another thing that you should do, before you stop filling in these profiles, is have a look and see what your competitors are doing. Have a search on Google, see what comes up, see what pages are coming up in Google. Are they profile sites that you weren’t aware of? If so, can you log in? Can you create a profile? If it’s working for them, it will work for you as well. So have a look around, see what your competitors are doing. It might throw up different areas that you hadn’t thought of. It might come up with profiles that are in certain sectors that you weren’t aware of, and again that puts you in front of a new audience, and, of course, it creates a citation and the links that are relevant to local SEO.
So have a look around. There are a lot, lot more profile sites than the ones I’ve mentioned today. They’re just examples to get you going and to give you an idea. So have a look at those so that you know the sort of sites that you’re looking for.
This should really, really help with your local SEO if you’re not finding any rankings at all at the moment but your site’s been optimised. Make sure they’re filled out completely, verify them, make sure all the information is exactly the same information as you’ve got on your website, and you should be up and running from there.
So for more information like this, make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and, of course don’t forget there’s the white paper section on our site as well as the blog.