For any local brick and mortar store it is important to submit your business to local business directories. A complete local business profile on popular local business directories can help drive a lot of relevant traffic to your site. Here is a guide of things you can do to help increase your ranking in the local business profiles, as well as places to submit your business profile to.
Claim Your Listing
The first thing you will want to do is sign up for Google LBC, Yahoo LBC, and MSN LBC and claim your listing. By claiming your listing you are notifying each search engine that the can confirm and verify you are the business owner. For Google and MSN they allow you to verify your listing by calling your phone and entering the 4 digit pin they provide, or you can wait for a pin number to be mailed. Yahoo will manually verify the business listing.
One of the most important factors search engines look at is if your listing is verified or not. If you do not claim your listing, you are susceptible to profile hijacking. Profile or listing hijacking means that someone acts like they are your listing and changes the information provided in the profile. For any listing that is not claimed, anyone can edit the local business information, so be sure you claim yours!
Complete Business Profile
It is important to fill out your listing completely by adding the following: your full address, a company description, email address, store hours, upload photos/videos, etc. The more complete your listing is, the more likely it is to rank well in the local business listing results.
Search engines will take the number of business reviews you have into consideration and see if the reviews are positive or negative. You may also notice that Google can pull in reviews from other relevant websites and other 3rd party local directories. With that being said, you may want to monitor what others are saying about you on other review sites. Also, ask your current clients to submit a review. Ask them in person, in a newsletter, a personalized email, or on your website.
Where to submit your Business Listing
There are a number of local directories available that we recommend you submit your business to besides Google, Yahoo and MSN. Make sure you add your listing to Yelp!, Best of the Web Local, Merchant Circle, Insider Pages, and Judy’s Book.
For a more in-depth look at local search ranking factors check out David Mihm: Local Search Ranking Factors.