Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Any Los Angeles marketing company will tell you that local search is an increasingly vital trend on the online marketing front. Los Angeles local search engine optimization tells the story of how as much as twenty percent of Internet search are local, and nearly half of all mobile searches are local, as reported by Google Places Stats and Facts. These statistics are only set in increase within the next few years.
With so many local businesses catching word of the latest local search trend, it’s no wonder that so many savvy local businesses are hustling to create a big presence on the Web; Los Angeles outdoor advertising and other traditional avenues of advertising just don’t seem like enough to keep up with the pace anymore.
There are a variety of ways to boost the visibility of your business on the web, one of which is having your own optimized website that is geographically specific. Yet another important method of taking advantage of local search is to make sure you have your business listed in a variety of online directories. Online directories such as Yellow Pages, the chambers of commerce, and many others, including third party websites, are vital online areas for your business to be visible. What few business owners know, however, is that the combination of a thoroughly search engine optimized site and lots of advertising can dilute the business’ online identity, while the listings alone can make a more powerful first impression.
It’s called a business’ “anchor identity.” Online listings mainly consist of the business’ contact information, such as the name, address, telephone, and sometimes hours of operation. It’s called an anchor identity because it is the core information your customers can find that keeps your whole online identity together.
If your business information is inconsistent between different online directories, this could be disastrous for your online presence. Listing may also be created on local sites and directories with or without the owner’s knowledge by sites that pull details out of advertising. Sometimes when this happens, the anchor information presented by not be entirely accurate. Listings should thus be very closely monitored.
There are several methods in managing your business listings online and ensure that your online business identity is well managed. For one, do not alter your business name for the Web. If you change your name for marketing purposes, you will end up creating multiple identities for your business online, as old information will remain online if not updated. A search engine will force your listing rank further down the page if your business anchor details are inconsistent, which could be bad for your online presence.
Secondly, you should include your physical street address, as opposed to a P.O. Box, if possible. A physical street address makes you more accessible to customers who are searching for you online. Also, another big no-no: do not make yourself look local in a place where you do not have a physical local presence.
Do not include promotions in your listing, especially short term or seasonal listings. The listings should only include your basic core anchor information.
Prepping your online business listing to perfection will serve to enhance your Internet presence positively.