Business Owner’s Guide to Local Search

If you’re a business owner and you’ve done a search for your business online, you probably aren’t surprised to see something like the image below.

This is an example of local search.

You might be surprised to see that your business is listed in a similar online local search.  You might be really surprised to see your business there  – especially if your business doesn’t even have a web site.

There’s a lot going on online that every business owner should know.  Let’s start at the beginning….

In the beginning

Bill Gates predicted in 1997 that the yellow pages would be quickly replacing traditional printed yellow page directories.  More than a decade later, you may have noticed that you’re actually seeing more of these landfill clogging yellow page directories on your doorstop instead of less. It’s enough to make you wonder if Gates was mistaken.

Despite the fact that search technologies have eliminated the need for a printed local yellow page directory – consumers haven’t come on board until recently.    What was needed to bring those consumers on board was a piece of technology which would fulfill the prediction made by futurists since the early 1990’s – a computer that would fit into the palm of your hand.  This portable, multitasking technological wonder is not known as a computer but rather a cell phone . a.k.a a smart phone.

Smart Phones are Killing the Yellow Page Directories

Smart phones are any cell phone that can access the internet.   The number of smart phone users are growing at an exponential rate.  A Pew Internet Project survey from May 2011 reports that 35% of US adults owned a smartphone and that figure is expected to continue to increase at an unprecedented rate.  The Coda Research Consultancy predicts that global smartphone sales will reach 2.5 billion between 2010 and 2015.   The study also predicts that US mobile Internet use via smartphones will increase 50 fold in the same period.

It’s no wonder people are discarding the traditional printed yellow page directories in favor of sleek and stylish devices which fit easily into the palm of your hand.   Not only can smart phones give their owners access to the listings available within the traditional printed phone book – but they can also provide directions based upon the consumer’s current location. As more and more people upgrade their regular cell phones to smart phones, they’ll find an internet ready and waiting to accommodate them.

Populating Local Search Results

On the one hand, we have thousands of people making the switch from traditional “cell phones” to smart phones on a daily basis.  These people are anxious to put their phone to good use – whether it’s finding a good restaurant or finding the nearest barber.  The problem – on the other side of the coin – is restaurants and barber shops – along with a multitude of other business owners – have yet to establish a search engine friendly web presence.

The answer for providers of local search results is to simply buy a copy of the information contained within the printed local yellow page directories.  It’s the quickest, easiest way to provide the information consumers are seeking.

If you’re a business owner – this news may be the best news you’ve ever heard.   By simply signing up for a business phone – one with a listing in the local yellow page directory – you now have an instant internet presence.  Not only do you have an  internet presence – it’s one with a page one SERP (search engine ranking placement).

However, it’s important that you CLAIM these local business listings for your business.  Sometimes the information is not accurate – in some cases your business may be reported as “closed” or no longer in business.

It’s essential that you not only CLAIM but actively MAINTAIN your local business listing in many high profile internet sites.   Be sure to check out our Local Business Search Listings to discover the most important online business listing sites where you should claim your business listing.

Be Sociable, Share!