Every industry has big names, and if you want to get the most from those local searches, you will do your best to get listed with those names. This means, of course, Google Maps and Yahoo! Local. These two happen to be the most influential in this area, which is why you should try to get listed with them first, and then get on with the other things. The idea is that, by listing with these names, you’ll get more traffic from the search engines than you will know what to do with. Getting listed in Google Maps is not that difficult if you take the right steps. It only requires filling out a tiny form and then responding to a phone or email message that will allow you to verify your identity. After that verification process, you will usually have to wait about six weeks to see your site in the local search listings. Google and Yahoo! are very similar in their application process, only Yahoo! doesn’t require a verification. Yahoo! will even allow you to design your business listing to your liking.
The plus point here is that the approval process is quick and does not take weeks, unlike Google. Whatever you do, just make sure you do not ignore this simple tip because it will take you a long way in your goal to reach out to the local audience. Many local websites, like Yelp, are fine with the idea of business owners asking customers or clients to post reviews for them. Because the sites allow this and because it helps you with your local SEO efforts why aren’t you doing it already? It is important that you remind your customers to do this however you can: e-mail signature, invoice, contact forms, etc. You can say something as simple as “Hi it would be great if you can take out time to review our business on XYZ Local.” Obviously you cannot control these reviews’ content but, whether they are good or bad, the reviews can add credibility and reliability to your company’s profile (which is nice for the new customers). Even if you are trying other things as well, make sure to integrate this tip because doing so can help your business exponentially.
You should also look for quality backlinks from high status websites in your area that will help you with the search engines. Seek out well known sites such as the chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau, that carry a lot of weight in your area. Search engines can give you more ideas along these lines, so simply type in the name of your city plus “directory of businesses” or the like. Once you have these sites, do what you can to get listed by them. You can easily locate these sites, so don’t neglect to take this step.
You now have a number of effective methods to get quality local traffic. If you keep these ideas in mind, you can start getting more local traffic very soon.