Google has renamed the local business center ‘Google Places’, and companies with two or more employees must consider using this resource. Added with Bing and Yahoo, these local listings, which are ‘free’, are, more often than not, more important than a $ 300 per month yellow pages ad. It does depend on your situation. Business managers have many questions around managing these listings. Knowing best practices is an evolving skill as guidelines change several times a year. The professionals at Web Atlanta keep up with best practices, and can manage the google, bing, yahoo triad for local businesses for as little as $ 500. In addition, here is some free information if you want to attempt to do this yourself. Good luck.
If you work out of your home, you may well wish to hide your business address. But you should still use a proper address. Addresses in commercial districts get higher rankings than residential addresses. Companies with real commercial presences on the street deserve to, and are ranked more highly.
The first thing we do at Web Atlanta is establish an e-mail address under which all the listings are defined or claimed. We like to use a gmail account, or a domain account, where we are confident that we will never lose control of the password for that account. Domain accounts are best. Only a business owner or their authorized agents should claim the listing. If you have not claimed your listings, you may get scammed. We have charged several thousand dollars to support legal and technical actions to rescue business managers from these scamsters. They swoop in and ‘claim’ listings before business owners notice. Because the claiming process is technical in nature, this leaves businesses vulnerable until the proper safeguards are taken.
Business Names and keywords
Stick to your business name, as you may suffer delays and the penalty box if the search engine heuristics look to match up the business name with a legitimate known business name. The search engines may also look for keyword cheating and penalize that. You want your registered business exactly as the Secretary of State so defines it. Attempting to influence the rank of your local business listing with ‘black hat’ techniques may sometimes work, but we will not do that on your behalf.
Web-site domain name & Phone
A local listing usually lets you to enter a URL and a phone number. A history of yellow page advertising helps your ranking. But Yellow Pages are often printed with tracking numbers, and this does not help, i.e. your business being associated with a tracking number. You want the search engines to associate your business and phone number. It is possible, where a tracking number has been used for many years, that enough business citations are known to the search engines, and this may help. List the tracking number as an extra phone number, if possible.
Add your business logo. You should have business artwork in digital form, like a logo for upload. Add two to four pictures of your building, products or employees at work. Add Videos, especially youtube videos of your products and your employees working. Add your business hours and use the service area definition procedures to delineate your service area, especially for businesses that visit homeowners like the trades.
- Jpegs and gifs, photos, logo
- Hours of Operation
- Categories of products and services
- Payment forms accepted
In the SEO industry, Web Atlanta can be trusted to protect your business investment. Using off-shore or inexperienced help can be risky. Experienced search engine optimization professionals should be used for businesses not wanting to risk their reputation.