Are you in the Yellow Pages?… Is that all? What about Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, etc… and the other fifty directories. We’ll talk about getting your local business on the map so that customers can find you.
All right. We’re live. It is the Friday roundup. Friday, November 4, 2016.
Our topic today is “Getting Your Local Business On The Map.”
I’m John Peterson with Develare and I want to talk to small business owners who are interested and who want new, local clients. Now I know there’s some small business owners out there that, they’re more on a national scale and local isn’t as important. This might not be the best Podcast or the best Facebook Live video or the best Youtube Live video, depending on where you’re watching this, it may not be the best one for you.
For others who really want those local clients, then definitely tune in.
Now, there’s a restaurant here in the Woodlands area called Black Walnut Café. What really impressed me about Black Walnut Café a couple years ago is they moved from their location that was over on Research Forest Drive, they moved to a new location on New Trails. Now, our family was pretty new to the area and we were still very GPS dependent on finding wherever we needed to go. All I did was I opened up Waze, our GPS app of choice on the iPhone. I typed in Black Walnut Café and even on the weekend that they moved, their new address was up-to-date in Waze, which I thought was really impressive.
Now, it was not only up-to-date in Waze, but it was also up-to-date in Google Maps. It was also up-to-date in Apple Maps which at the time was quite a feat.
Now, how did they do it? Well, there’s a couple different ways you can do this. You can actually go out and do it yourself, of course. But really, before we jump into that, you need to ask yourself, “how do your customer’s find you?”
Now, many of them may already know about your business and so they might go to your website and then find your address on the website and find you that way. But what if you’re a restaurant? What if you’re a dry cleaner? What if you’re a dentist? What if you do iPhone screen repair?
Well, your customers may find you through the local directory like Yelp, like Google Maps, like any number of other local directories out there. And so having a presence on those local directories is super important.
Today’s topic is super important for that reason. We mentioned Yelp, we mentioned Google Maps. Yellow Pages, Facebook are another couple of options that you should definitely have a presence on. There’s probably a half a dozen websites that you could maintain yourself, but once you get beyond that, once you get to some of the others, there’s another dozen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty websites that you can have a presence on, which could still help your business out.
Now, you may just have a few clients here and there that are on those other websites that find you. Really where you’re going to get a lot of value from that is with search engines. Search engines are really trying to determine who is really local. One of the ways they do that is by looking at external directories like Manta, other external directories like Merchant Circle, et cetera. And so you look at all these merchant directories out there, or all these directories out there and they say “oh well, is your address correct?” on these other directories. “Is your phone number correct? Is your business name consistent?”
You can go out there and you can add your profile, for the most part for free, on these sites. It might take you a half an hour, on other ones it might take you an hour to go there and trick out profiles so it has the right photos, it has the right descriptions, it has the right name, address, and phone number like we already discussed. That takes a lot of time. That can take thirty minutes. It could take an hour.
Search engines, there’s Moz’s, we mentioned it last time, the 2015 local search ranking factors. We mentioned it in our Friday roundup last Friday. I’m bringing it up again today because citations or having your information in the local directories appear quite a bit in the ranking factors according to Moz. In fact, for the top fifty localized organic factors, that is, things that influence whether or not your business appears in the main part of Google search, not the top, not the top here, where Google ads are … so we have the top where the ads are. Underneath that you’d have like a local pack, depending on the search. And below that you have the organic results.
There were six ranking factors according to Moz that influenced your ranking in that organic area down below. Now they range from number nine, “quality/authority of structured citations” all the way down to number forty one, “quantity of structured citations.” That’s where the volume of directories that your business appears in is important.
There were six ranking factors there. Moz also goes on … so we talked about the advertising area at the top for Google, the local pack that shows you local results in some cases. Well there were seven factors that influenced your business’s ranking in that local area, the local pack as some people refer to it as.
The number two ranking factor according to Moz was “consistency of structured citations.” Making sure your name, making sure your address, making sure your phone number is correct across all of these different directories is super important. So number two all the way down to number thirty nine, there were seven factors there.
Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, do I really want to go out and make sure that I spend half an hour to an hour on fifty different websites making sure my business is correct. What if like Black Walnut Café I move, what if my phone number changes, et cetera.
Well, there are some solutions out there to help automate and help make sure that it’s easier for you to keep everything consistent. One of those is Yext. It’s definitely our favorite here. It is the Cadillac of options. One thing to know with Yext is that you are renting your citations. You are renting those directory submissions, those listings for your company, you are renting those from Yext. It is expensive. Yext is not cheap, but you know what, it will save you a lot of time. In fact, Yext also has a product that will help you … if you have maybe some listings out there that are not quite correct, maybe there are some older listings that you want to get rid of, but you don’t want to spend the time and effort it takes to get rid of them, Yext also offers an option for duplicate suppression, which is also very handy.
Now, there are other options that are not as expensive. Yext can range anywhere from $199 to $999 per year. Now, Moz Local has a service that you can use for $84 per year. It is a different approach. Now, there is an in between approach with Advice Local. They offer 100 to 250 up front, depending on what plan works for you, and then also $20 a month.
I can’t go into a lot of depth on what each one of these provide. I will provide some links for you down below in the description area. Yext, Moz Local, Advice Local are three good options.
You have to ask yourself at the end of the day, “what’s your time worth? Do you want local customers? Do you want people to find you locally?”
That’s where it’s at. You want to make sure your business in on the map. You want to make sure your business, your small business is in those directories, it has those citations out there if you want to rank well and get local clients.
That’s today’s Friday roundup. I’m John Peterson with Develare. Thanks for tuning in and see you guys next Friday.
Links Referenced in Video
Black Walnut Cafe
Moz “The 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors”