If you are a local business with a physical location, you absolutely 100% MUST have an optimized local listing. Not familiar with local listings? Go to Google, and search for a keyword using a city and/or state (i.e Seattle Dentists.)
These local maps results show up ahead of the natural search listings, and just below the AdWords ads, which is some seriously prime real estate. With a bit of careful Google Maps Optimization, you can grab the #1 spot in the local results, and thus a lion’s share of the traffic for either geo-targeted keyword phrases or generic search terms done while logged-in or on a mobile device with location enabled.
So, you might be asking yourself at this point, “What do you mean Local Maps Optimization?”, can’t I just go create one of these listings myself?
Sure, you can create and/or claim your own listing, but there is a lot more to grabbing that top spot than just making a profile. First off, you need to create the profile the right way, using the right elements and keywords in the right places. It’s not as simple as it sounds.
Then, once you have the listing created, optimized and claimed, it’s time for the real optimization work, which is creating citations. Put simply, a citation is any web page that has your business name, address and phone number together on the one page. Other local profiles, business directories, and social sites are all great places to create citations, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
So, hopefully you now understand that you need an optimized local profile. But just what kind of return are you likely to see on that investment? Here’s a few examples from our clients.
For this client, we did both an optimization of their local profile, as well as a few dozen citations. As you can see, they have a click-through-rate of 73.64%, mostly for driving directions (which is what they wanted.) 73.64% is significantly more CTR than a #1 position in the Google natural results. Not too shabby, and it only took 4 weeks to get them to this point 🙂
Next client, we claimed their listing and did just a handful of citations. In June, they had 2,818 (we started optimizing towards the end of June). In July, they had 3,513 impressions. In August, they had 4,965 impressions. In September, from the the 1st to the 21st, they’ve had 3,856 impressions, and are on track to hit over 5,500 total impressions. That is an increase in impressions of 195%, in 3 months. How does that sound to you?
Sufficeth to say, if you have a local business with a physical location, you MUST have an optimized local profile on Google, Yahoo and Bing at the very least. Having profiles on Yelp, Urbanspoon (if you’re a restaurant), Citysearch, Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter as well can also provide massive boosts in traffic thanks to the growing mobile search segment (it’s estimated that over 20% of all searches will be performed on mobile devices by 2012.)
Ready to stop missing out on traffic? Please, contact us today if you feel that your business could benefit from Local Maps Optimization.