Small business owners have enough to mark off of their checklist when starting out. Once you have devised your business plan, the next thing is to create your online presence. You either pay a web designer or embark upon building your own site by using one of the many drag and drop web design platforms. No matter how you arrive whether paid or free…..the need is the same……TRAFFIC. With all the other start-up costs, you don’t want to create a huge Google Adwords bill so what do you do? The answer is to dominate your local online listing!
Most people think claiming your online listing means registering your domain with Google, Yahoo and Bing. While that is a huge part of the equation, you can quickly gain relevance for your domain by claiming local online listings. This is especially important if you live or do business in a suburb outside of a major city. You can’t compete with companies with huge Adwords budgets but you can Search Engine Optimize your site to claim local searches for your product or services. Most SEM companies buy keywords based on Metro areas because they have no knowledge of surrounding towns or counties. The first step is deciding which online listing service to use. I Googled top-online-listing-service and came up with this list from Hubspot.
This is a great place to start if you are a do-it-yourselfer optimizing your own site, but if you are a Search Engine Optimization Consultant this is a daunting task. The screen shot above only has twenty sites listed, think of going through all fifty one by one! One of the most visible is Yext.com. Yext.com has partnered with many online listing services such as Manta, Mapquest, Yahoo, Superpages and Yelp. They offer to save you time and effort by providing a single point mass listing service. For about $500.00 you can have them list and correct errors for 50 sites. I felt there had to be a cheaper option, so I continued to search and found Synup.com. The dashboard is very clean and easy to use and the best part…..it’s FREE! The site checks your listing over 182 sites. You can either go to those sites and correct your listing yourself or just click on the correct listing link and have Synup correct the listing for just $1.50 per listing. That’s 182 sites for about $273.00! This is a quicker and more cost-effective option if you’re a small business owner or a Search Engine Optimization Consultant. You can add multiple sites/listings and it keeps them all organized. There is also a function on Synup.com that allows you to check and respond to reviews received from your listings.
I registered with about 20 sites and then did a test search using the term chain-music-social-media based on a blog that I wrote yesterday. Here are the results: The NUMBER ONE spot!
I then searched social-media-consulting-waldorf-md which is a suburb of Washington D.C.. I Search Engine Optimized my listing to highlight my local area and Washington D.C. to get added traffic.
The first spot in the organic search is the manta.com online listing. When you click on the link my company is listed number two. I didn’t opt for the premier listing or pay anything extra. I just built out my free listing.
The task of dominating local web traffic is a very hard one. You need to make sure your listings and content are optimized with local terms larger SEM firms may not know. As your site gains relevance based on your local search, your search results will ultimately improve. But whatever you do, remember to Dominate Locally To Compete Globally!
Juan De Cruz, Jr.