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Using Local Listings to Improve Search Engine Ranking

Local listings provide contact information and the physical location of businesses within a specific area via search engines. Being listed at the top not only attracts more website visitors and potential customers, but can also improve search engine rankings.

Obtaining local listings can be a time-consuming process because there are hundreds of directories. Most directories require information to be submitted by hand. This involves copying and pasting the business name, physical address, telephone numbers, email address and website URL. The process can take numerous hours to complete.

Many business owners feel that if they submit information to Google, Bing and Yahoo they have completed the task. Nothing could be further from the truth. The more listings businesses have, the higher they will rank and the easier their business can be found.

In addition to submitting local listing information to search engines, business owners should also submit to phone directories, local social listings, and data providers and aggregators. This task should be ongoing as new directories and listing websites are opened almost daily.

It is important to follow-up after each business listing is published to ensure information is correct. Local listing company employees usually must transcribe provided information into their system. Everyone knows human beings can make mistakes. Should mistakes be discovered, it is crucial to contact local listing providers to correct erroneous data.

Another consideration of local listings is the time required to maintain the information. Many business directories invite customers to write reviews of the companies listed. If an irritated customer goes off on a tangent they can cause serious harm to business reputation with the click of a mouse.

Most people perceive the Internet as endlessly vast. In reality, the Internet is quite personal and business reviews can travel at the speed of light. The theory of six degrees of separation claims all human beings are five people away from knowing everyone in the world.

Modern technology could easily reduce this to an even smaller number. This means public relations surrounding business entities can spread like fire and be extremely difficult to snuff out.

It is crucial to implement tracking strategies to stay abreast of published customer reviews. If reviews are defamatory, it is important to immediately counteract by contacting the local listings provider and requesting removal of inflammatory remarks.

On the flip side, customers can leave positive reviews that can bring substantial benefits to a business. Many companies encourage customers to publish reviews at social listing directories such as InsiderPages, Yelp and City Squares. This can be an exceptional online marketing strategy to boost search engine rankings. However, business owners should spend time following up with clients to obtain positive reviews.

Last, but not least, publishing at multiple directories can increase overall search engine ranking. It's best to develop an ongoing list of local listings directories and publish to several each week.
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