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WAHM > Service Business Articles > Local Customers

Is your business missing out on valuable local customers?

One quick way to make sure your local prospects aren’t shopping somewhere else is to make sure you’re listed on the local search engines. Here’s how to do it in three quick steps.

Step One. Check to see if you’re already listed.  If you have a yellow pages ad then you probably already have a listing.  Search engines pull their information from a few key resources:

  • InfoUSA,
  • Yellow Pages,
  • Acxicom,
  • MagicYellow.com,
  • RestaurantRow.com,
  • SuperPages.com,
  • Nola.com and
  • SearchMaryLand.com. 

To check to see if you’re listed, go to the local search engines:

Type in your city and industry, for example ‘toy store 80503’, and see if your business comes up in the listings.   

Step Two. Submit your listing. If you are not showing up on the listings the next step is to get listed.  There are a variety of ways to get your business listed: 

* You can get a yellow pages ad.  Nothing fancy unless you want to.  The important thing to remember here is to be accurate, consistent, and specific with your information. Make sure that your website, if you have one, includes the same information that your yellow pages ad lists and pay attention to the details.   

* You can submit your listing directly to Google Maps at Google Local Business Center.This will get you listed even without a website, but if you have a website it’s highly recommended to submit your website URL too.  After submitting, your address has to be verified by responding to a phone call or by a postcard delivered to your address.   

* Yahoo has a similar service where users can add a basic listing for free http://listings.local.yahoo.com  which allows you to update, edit, and improve your listing however, you will need a Yahoo account.

Step Three – Keep your information updated. Keep track of your listing. Quite often information can be listed incorrectly. If you change anything about your company, you can update your local listings by using the Google Local Business Center:

https://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter 

For Yahoo, go to: http://listings.local.yahoo.com   If you do have a website, make sure that your address is listed on every page your website. Because you don’t know which page Google is going to cross reference with your listing, and make sure that your contact information is in the copy of your web pages and not part of the graphics.  Google doesn’t read graphics.

While local search may not generate huge profits, it’s a quick, simple, and free process so even if you only receive one new customer from it each month or even each quarter, you’ve generated a tremendous return on investment.

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