More Get Found Locally Tips with GooglePlaces, Yelp and Angie’s List

The Internet runs on the World Wide Web,

but for most online shoppers, 

the Internet is their local marketplace.

This is especially true for searchers looking for services. They don’t want a car insurance agent in France or a plumber in Cleveland, unless of course they want to drive in France and have a clogged sink in Cleveland.

 If you are like many small businesses, you depend on local customers and, you don’t want to generate leads that you can’t possibly follow up with. So, how do you get local? Check out this list of strategies provided by

1. Optimize your site for geographic-specific keywords.

Depending on the competitiveness of your geographic region and industry, this is a quick and easy way for you to start ranking for various keywords that local shoppers are using to search in Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Just make sure that the Page Title, URL, H1 tag and page content of your web pages include your geographic keyword phrase and that you are consistent across all elements.  If you have multiple pages for each town/city you service, make sure they are different enough so the search engines don’t tag them as duplicate content!

 2. Blog!

Talk about your local services and commitment to your local market. Share success stories of work you’ve done.  Use your blog as an opportunity to showcase satisfied customers and highlight your great work. Remember to use the geographic location in your blog title and URL and promote your blog to generate inbound links!

 3. Engage with local bloggers and city-specific websites.

When you engage with local bloggers to share your knowledge and expertise, you begin to establish yourself as a resource and expert in your industry. You’ll be getting your name and company in front of local readers and begin to develop relationships with influential bloggers who may be more likely to do feature stories about you in the future.

 4. Sign up for accounts on ratings and review sites.

Consumers today are more and more likely to start their research process online for a local vendor, car mechanic, doctor or restaurant.  Make sure your business is listed on the major websites that provide ratings and reviews for various services. Here are a few to check out:

 •Google Places (Free)

Google requires you to register your business online, then verifies that you are the owner by either calling you or sending some snail mail to your address. Once you are registered, you benefit by having the opportunity to appear in Google’s Local Business Results for a given search term. Your ranking inside the Local Listings is based on Google’s ranking algorithm that awards well-optimized pages and inbound links to your website from other websites.

 •Yelp (Free)

Yelp has been around for several years now and says it is the gold standard for getting information on local restaurants, shopping locations and entertainment venues. However, now they’re starting to see a wider variety of businesses listing their companies on their site, including those in real estate, event planning, financial services and medical service providers. This is a great place to encourage your happy customers to leave some feedback. If you receive negative feedback, it’s a good chance to engage with that consumer and turn their experience around with a heartfelt note or follow up.

 •Angie’s List (Free for Companies)

Angie’s List pulls in reviews of local businesses and contractors. Angie’s List attempts to circumvent fake reviews by charging consumers a monthly fee in order to browse their listings and review businesses. Check it out and see if it’s right for your business.

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