How to Use Google Maps and Yahoo Local to Grow Your Business
These last few days I’ve been out of town on vacation, and have been using Google Maps to help me find my way around. Searching for grocery stores, coffee shops, and free wi-fi reminded me how important it is to list your business with Google Maps and Yahoo Local. In case you’re not familiar with those services, they’re the listings that come up at the top of normal organic search results next to the map.
Using Google Maps and Yahoo Local can automatically put you at the top of organic search results for free.
For example, if you search for ‘Portland Graphic Design’ the search engines recognize that as an area-specific search (for the Portland area) and return local results above the normal organic results. If you care at all about growing your business, it’s a no-brainer that you need to get listed.
It’s a very simple process to get your business listed in these local directories:
How to List your business on Google Maps
- Go to the Google Maps Local Business Center and either log in with your Google account, or create one.
- Click ‘Add a New Listing’
- Fill out all your company information. Be sure to use your main target keywords and write professionally and grammatically correct.
- Google will send a postcard to your address to confirm that it is, in fact, your location (or at least a location where you receive mail). This can take up to 6 weeks, but in my experience it took 2. Log back into your account and enter the code on the postcard, then your ad is all ready to go.
- Make sure to complete your company profile with a few photos (logo, products, graphics, etc.) to make it stand out from the rest.
How to list your business on Yahoo Local
- Go to the Yahoo Local site to add a new business.
- Fill out the information on your company and submit it.
- Wait for Yahoo to approve it and post it on their directory.
ESSENTIAL TIP: To get listed higher in Google/Yahoo Local Results, rent a mailbox in the downtown metro area where you are targeting, and use that as your address so you have a very central listing. We did this on accident, but found out it worked very much to our advantage to get listed higher.
After you’ve completed these steps, the next essential factor is to get some positive reviews next to your listing.
This is HUGE for credibility – an invaluable asset on the Internet, and an eye-catching visual for searchers when they see 5 stars next to your business name. The easiest way to get these reviews is to ask your past clients to spend a couple minutes filling out the evaluation. You can also use these reviews as testimonials on your website.
As always, let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below – I’m happy to help. If you found this article useful, please share it using the buttons below.