Search Engine Optimization is mostly about the little things because there are so many of them. Page Titles, links and optimized copy are still among the most important aspects of SEO and are easily controlled regardless of the website owner’s skill level. Local SEO is optimizing your website to do well in searches that are specific geographic location(s). Any website whose target audience is localized should put the effort into Local SEO to increase their organic traffic. One easy, and FREE way to do it is to submit your website to the ‘Big Three’ business directories: Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Yahoo Small Business Directory
You’ll need to create a new Yahoo account, so find out if your business name is available (email@example.com). If it’s not, just add your state initials to the end of it and try again. You can use your business name as your first and last name. If your business name is one word, add Inc. or the state or town name for the last name.
Once you’ve created your new Yahoo account and you’re logged in go to this page and choose the FREE option:
Go through the process of adding your information. You’ll need a backup email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you can use your cell phone for instant verification via call or text. You’ll see this if you successfully complete your profile:
You’ll need to create a new Microsoft account, but you can use your regular email account (email@example.com). You can use your business name as your first and last name. If your business name is one word, add Inc. or the state or town name for the last name. Go to https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx to get started.
Being Microsoft, you’d expect there would be some unnecessary steps you’d have to go through to get to where you want to be, so you won’t be disappointed when you find out Bing Places is no different. Go to https://www.bingplaces.com/DashBoard to get started. Look for your business, or any business to complete the first and really only unnecessary step. Scroll to the bottom of the results and click on the ‘Create New Business’ button and a form appears that you can fill out and submit. You fill in your info and Bing creates a preview of your listing to the right.
Google’s option for free business listings have shifted, changed names and expanded in recent years. For the moment, Google Local/Google Places is one of the important places where you should add your business listing. You’ll need a Google account. Either a Gmail account is required, or if you have your domain name using Google apps, you can use your regular domain email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). Be logged in when you visit https://www.google.com/local. Most of the screen will be a map of your local area, but in the left column, look for and click on the “Put your business on Google Maps” link. Now all of the sudden you’re in Google Places and you should be looking at your dashboard. Above and to the right of the business listings (if you have any at this point) is a link called “Add another business”. Click that and you’ll be asked to search for your phone number. If the results don’t show your business hit the “Add a new listing button”. Google gives you a preview of your listing as you create it. The big bummer comes at the end when you get the news that Google is going to snail mail your confirmation pin. It says 2-3 weeks, but it usually gets here to Burlington, VT within a week.