One of the hottest trends in Online Marketing today for most businesses has been being listed on certain local business listings channels. For one thing, it doesn’t cost anything to post, and if done properly, it can do wonders to having a client’s listing on “page 1” of organic results.

Google Local Business Listings

Location of Local Business Listings on Google Search Results for “Lawyers Toronto”

As seen in the image above, the local business listings, in this case with Google. show up on the top section of the search results page. Since people are “picking up on the trend,” it is now more important than ever to not only post ones business online, but to do so correctly.

Here are some tips on optimizing your local business listing:

  1. Include as much relevant information about your company as succinctly as possible.

    The more information that is provided about a company, the better the chances are that clients will “get the picture” quickly. Not only that, but listings like “Google Places” only support up to 200 characters in the description box. Be sure you insert the keyword categories you wish to be listed for, but keep the sentence structure as legible as possible. In other words, don’t “keyword-stuff” descriptions. People reading such a listing may get offended and not take your organization seriously should keyword-stuffing occur. Also, search engines have a funny way of emulating a human reader by detecting which sentences “make sense” and which don’t.

  2. Include pictures and videos when possible.

    Relevant pictures and videos not only show the amount of care one put into a listing, but it will engage a visitor for longer periods of time. The longer and more frequently visitors spend on a client site, the more search engines notice and the greater the chances are of your listing being ranked higher.

  3. Have Reviews Written reviews on Your Listing

    Client reviews show that there is actual interaction on your business listing. This tells the search engines, “Hmmm, this isn’t some listing generated by a bot. Let’s look upon this one more highly than the others.”

  4. Sites to focus on:

    At the time of this writing, here are some of the more popular business listings to be placed on:

    1. Local Maps
      1. Google Places
      2. Yahoo Local
      3. Bing Local
      4. AOL Local
    2. Local Listings Sites
      1. CitySearch
      2. Brownbook
    3. Business Networks
      1. LinkedIn
      2. Entrepreneur Network
      3. ZoomInfo
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