Do you need customers? Do you need more phone calls from individuals inquiring about your services from the internet? There may be customers looking for your business on the internet every day that can’t find you. To come up with an effective solution to this problem you will need to determine an effective local search advertising strategy. Fortunately, there are many affordable solutions to this problem:
- Google Maps – Free
- Yahoo Local – Free or Enhanced
- Bing Local – Free
- Internet Advertising Companies
- Free Directory Listings
- Blog and Article Writing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
Local Search Advertising
Many people don’t know that all three major search engines Google, Yahoo, and Bing offer great free local advertising products. All three of these appear as a map and can be found on top of organic search results for major keywords that may be related to a specific industry. They offer local information for people who may need service in their area.
There are two main criteria used to determine if you qualify for local search results.
Location – Are you located in the city of the search query?
Relevance – Does your website provide quality information related to the search?
Maps account for about 5-10% of clicks from major search engines. The best thing about these services is that they are absolutely free to set up, and you never have to pay for a click. Another great thing about map listing is that they are the easiest way to get on the first page of search results of these search engines. To sign up, simply create a listing with your exact business name(Name, Address, Phone), choose the categories of your business, and authorize your business.
Add Your Business To Google Places – Free
Add Your Business To Yahoo – Yahoo offers a free(basic) or an enhanced listing.
Add Your Business To Bing – Free
In many cases, it is just that easy to rank for your categories and create visibility for your business. However, for more competitive industries or major cities, keyword research is needed to know which keywords to target to generate the highest return. In this case, some businesses may consider hiring an online advertising company to assist with optimizing their map listing. If you search for your service in your city and your business is not listed in local search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, then there may be an opportunity for free online advertising.
Internet Advertising Companies
There are many affordable internet advertising companies that may assist you with getting customers in your local area. They will help you with the entire process including:
- Building a Website
- Marketing In Local Area
- Building Brand Name
- Social Media
- Link Building
- Pay Per Click
- Search Engine Optimization
Based on your needs, an internet advertising company will greatly improve your visibility online and help you get customers in your local area.
Free Directory Listings
There are hundreds of good web directories that offer free listings for your business. However, these two have a very strong presence in major cities like; Atlanta GA, New York NY, Orlando FL, Seattle WA, and Chicago IL. These are some of the most highly competitive cities on the internet, yet these directories get first-page exposure on Google in as fast as 15 minutes.
Hot Frog is the local search directory that gets great local visibility all around the US. A business may add their information for free and use multiple tools including an “Add My Products & Services” tab that creates a page that is optimized to rank for those products and services. Hot Frog gives a follow link for your website to associate your website with those keywords as well.
Merchant Circle is another great local search directory that offers a free listing that will rank on the first page of search results of Google, Yahoo, and Bing in major cities. Merchant Circle’s “Promote my Business” tab has a “Create/Manage Blog” tool that gives you the ability to publish your products and services to search engines and appear in search results in as fast as 15 minutes. These blog articles offer a follow link to your website to give you credit for the article as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Local search advertising can be competitive depending on your industry and location. Contact a search engine optimization company for more information on your industry in your area. For online advertising in Atlanta call (770) 766-5600. For questions or comments, please contact us.