LOCAL SEARCH MARKETING FAQ
Here are some of the most common questions people ask when learning about Local Search Marketing. If you have a local search marketing question that's not answered here, please feel free to use our Contact Us form to ask.
Exactly What IS Local Search Marketing?
Local Search Marketing is publicizing your business so people who are looking for local businesses can find you. This means your business must be listed in the places where people look for them. More and more, this means in the databases and apps most frequently used on smartphones and tablets - mobile devices.
More than half of all internet searches (in late 2013) are for local businesses. People with money to spend most often want to do business with someone who is local.
Therefore, they search for local businesses, on any of several dozen listing and review websites. They want to dig deeper as they decide whether they want to do business with you.
What do they look for? They look for your address, your hours, and frequently reviews that others have posted about your business. They want to know what others think of you.
If you are not listed in these places, they can't even consider you.
Can I Get My Business Listed Even If I Don't Have A Web Site?
Absolutely yes. There are only three things you must have to get listed on more than forty Local Search Marketing web sites: A business name, a business address, and a business phone number.
Once you are listed on these sites, people will be able to find you even if you don't have a website yet.
How Much Does This Cost?
David Miller Web Designs will get your business set up with Local Search Marketing on more than forty listings and review sites for $499 at the basic level.
If you would like David Miller Web Designs to train you in any of the aspects of managing your listings (there is a great help tutorial available), or if you would like us to actively manage your listings for you, we will be happy to do this at our standard hourly rate. (Currently $100/hr in 2013.)
What Do I Get With This Service?
You get the initial setup, which includes getting your business listed or having existing listings corrected on more than 40 Local Search websites, to include your business name, address, phone number(s), hours, and website.
You also get a centralized dashboard where you can update your listings any time you want, and your updates will be immediately propagated to all the sites with your listing.
For example, if you would like to offer a "Special of the month" (or week or day) or a special discount coupon, then your listings will be updated on all sites that support such.
Can't I Do All These Listings Myself?
Sure you can.
I tried doing this myself for David Miller Web Designs before I became affiliated with the listings management company I now use. I spent about four hours a day for three days to get six listings completed. At that point, I decided to go with the listings management company, and was so tickled with their services, I knew I had to offer it to all my clients.
If you would rather spend your time running your business, let us take care of this for you.
Once I Start Local Search Marketing, What Else Do I Have To Do?
If you are happy with the most basic listings, including your name, address (usually with a map), phone number, business hours, and web site, then nothing else is required.
However, if you would like to offer special sales, a deal of the day or week or month, if you would like to add your people to a "Meet our staff" page, if you want to list the goods and services you offer, or if you would like your menu posted, you can do this in your dashboard, or David Miller Web Designs can do it for you.
One of the great things about our dashboard is that you need to post any updates only once. Once you post a change to your dashboard, that change is immediately propagated to all the sites on which you are listed.
Another thing you'll need to do, if you are serious about getting more business, is to have your customers post reviews to these sites. The more reviews you get, the better for your publicity, the better for your rankings. Believe it or not, even bad reviews are helpful, as it helps potential customers understand that you're human and not some faceless corporate entity.
You can even post updates to your Facebook page from your dashboard.
Facebook? I Can Start/Manage My Facebook Page From Here?
One of the hottest things on the internet now is having a business page on Facebook.
Facebook is rapidly becoming the leading social marketing platform. This is the number one most popular place where people hear from their friends about businesses, about good experiences with businesses. "Hey, I just had the BEST experience with the Acme Lugnut Repair people over on Main Street. They really went out of their way to make sure I got what I needed..." etc.
This is one of the hottest ways to publicize your business today.
First, you (or we) can create your business Facebook page, if you do not already have one. Next, you (or we) can manage the information about your business posted on that page.
Most importantly to your business publicity, you can create new posts to your Facebook page right in your Local Search Marketing dashboard.
If you can create one to two good-content posts per week, short blurbs with valuable or fun information, you will have people "subscribe" to your postings, and share your postings with their friends, all of which is excellent for your publicity.
There are instances of businesses that were languishing until they set up a properly-managed Facebook page, after which they took off like a rocket.
On Which Sites Will My Business Be Listed?
Please see our Examples and Reviews page for a complete listing of the sites that David Miller Web Designs is listed on. The number of sites on which your business will be listed can vary, depending on your type of business and the area of the country in which you are located.
To see a complete list of the sites on which you can be listed, please run our Free Listings Scan.
What Big Search Sites DON'T You Cover with My Dashboard?
With your DMWD Local Search Marketing basic package, you get Yahoo!, Bing, Yelp, and more than forty others, but Google is not included.
Because Google does not work with any third-party local marketers, such as the dashboard we use with your package.
But don't worry. If you're not already on Google Places For Business, we can get you there. David Miller Web Designs will set up a Google Places For Business account and listing for you, separate from the Local Search Marketing package, at our standard hourly rates. I wanted to offer this service at a flat rate, but I've found some businesses can get listed in 15 minutes or less, whereas others - especially those who have tried this before and messed it up - can take hours or days. Either way, we can get you covered.
Google also has Google+ Local Business pages, which are a different setup than Google Places. (The word is they are merging soon.) The main difference is that your Places page is where search engines get their information about your business, while the Google+ pages are more a social networking site. You can read a good article about the difference here.
Yes, it's probably important that you have both types of pages set up. We can handle that for you.
How Long Does It Take To Get Listed?
Once we start implementing Local Search Marketing for your business, it should take one to two weeks for your business to be listed on the sites for which you are eligible, and to have them linked to your dashboard management account.
What Are The Side Benefits To Local Search Marketing?
The biggest side benefit is that it should increase your ranking in "organic" search results in the big three search engines: Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
One of the biggest factors in determining your ranking on these sites is the number of other sites that link to yours, and the credibility of those links.
When you get David Miller Web Designs to apply Local Search Marketing to your business and your website, you will have a number of new links to your web site right away, and over forty links in less than two weeks.
Depending on how competitive your business is, this could improve your search engine rankings significantly.
To see more about how to improve your search engine rankings, please see our SEO page.