People search online for local businesses by going to a variety of sites regular search engines, local-only search engines, review sites, Internet Yellow Pages, and more. Today and tomorrow, we ll wrap up our week-long series by giving you specific information about how to ensure your company is listed in all the major players.
First, if you haven t already read yesterday s post about the almighty business profile, please do. You ll want to gather together all the information you ll need before you get started here. Don t forget to track everything you do!
Today, we ll cover search engines (the big guys plus local-only players) as well as review sites.
Big Search Engines
Google: Go to www.google.com/local/add, create a Google account login (if you don t already have one), and enter data into your business profile. Google will give you a choice as to whether you prefer they call you to verify the information is valid, or mail you a postcard with a code to enter which activates your profile. This ensures that the person entering the information is legitimately affiliated with the business.
Yahoo: Go to http://listings.local.yahoo.com. In addition to the free listing, there are options to pay either $9.95 or $25 a month to include even more details, photos, etc. There s a 5 day review period before your business profile will be published.
MSN: You can t submit your information to MSN directly, but you can to their partner Localeze, which is one of the major business data aggregators (more about them tomorrow). Go to www.localeze.com/manage.
Local-Only Search Engines
Local.com: Go to www.local.com/advertise.aspx. Don t let the URL fool you there is a free option (in addition to a $39.95 per month option to add more details).
TrueLocal: Go to www.truelocal.com/getlisted.aspx. Here, you ll find a $5 per month option. If you d like a free listing, you should be able to get in through a business data aggregator (again, more tomorrow), or email your information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CitySearch: Go to http://atlanta.citysearch.com/corrections/enter_a_location.html (replace atlanta with your city).
Insider Pages: Go to www.insiderpages.com/advertiser/sign_up_more.html (again, don t let the URL fool you there is a free option). Note that a service rep may contact you to complete the submission process (read: try to upsell you).
Judy s Book: Go to www.judysbook.com/merchant/signup. They ll email you a confirmation before you can proceed. It takes 5 days to be reviewed before your business profile is up and running.
Yelp: Go to www.yelp.com and search in your category. Scroll to the bottom of the results (even if the results page says Sorry, we didn t find anything, which it often does) and click on the Add Business button. If the business isn t already listed, you re forced to rate it and post a review.
Tomorrow, we ll wrap up by telling you where to go to get into the major Internet Yellow Pages and business data aggregators.
Have you missed any other articles in our series on local search marketing? Monday we talked about why it s important for every business (even those that do business nationally) to be visible locally. Tuesday we covered a simple on-site change you can make to be found in crawler-based local engines. Friday: How to submit your site to business data aggregators and Internet Yellow Pages.
Stacy Williams, search engine marketing specialist, is founder and President of Prominent Placement, Inc. With an extensive background in Internet marketing, Stacy offers her clients cutting edge solutions that are always rooted in sound marketing strategy. A member of the Technology Alliance of Georgia and the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association, Stacy is a frequent lecturer on search engine optimization and Internet marketing topics.
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