Relevant traffic is important for small businesses for a variety of reasons. If you own a business that deals primarily with local people, and are looking for your website to increase sales, there’s absolutely no point in having a shed load of visitors who have a quick read of your content, then disappear without actually converting into sales. Unless of course they are providing you with either backlinks or user generated content which will help grow your site. This is especially important for the folks who are providing services or products at a local level. For some businesses its better to have 100 visitors from the local area, than to have 10,000 from around the world.If you are providing a service or product that can be quantified via your Analytics package, then conversion rate should be the metric you are watching – not the quantity of visitors to your site. So how do you go about getting additional localised traffic?
Google Local Search
URL: http://www.google.com/local/add Google Local allows you to add your business to the Google map listing which is starting to come into play more and more for localised searches. To illustrate here’s an example. Let’s say that I’m at home, hungry and fancy a pizza. I might type “pizza” into Google, but then that will mean (to Google) that I may be looking for a definition of what pizza is, I may be looking for a pizza image or video, or indeed looking to become a pizza franchise owner. Because the search term is not qualified to a locale, and has no verbs the listing has to be broad. If however I include a regional qualifier – e.g. “pizza in Belfast”Â or “pizza in Dunmurry” this denotes that I’m looking to find businesses in an area that provide that service.Â Simply put try a noun followed by ‘in’ followed by a location, and chances are you’ll come across a local listing. “cars in newcastle“, “boats in London” – you get the picture. It follows then that local traffic will come, if you can integrate these regional qualifiers in your copy and website title, and take care of your on – page ranking factors. Google also has its own proprietary algorithm for determining who gets the first listing, but getting reviews is thought to help. It also can have a positive impact on the number of click throughs you receive from the serps. To actually get listed in Google local, you have a couple of options. You can add a telephone, and an address to your website copy, and hope that Google finds you, and adds you. Some people who were added in directories such as Yell, automagically got added into Google local. Or you can just visit this link, and follow the on-screen instructions, it is of course free and easy. ;o)
Bing Local Search
Update: URL: http://www.118information.co.uk/contact/
URL: http://www.bingforbusiness.com/ New on the scene yesterday – Bing is Microsoft’s new offering. They haven’t as yet sorted out their local offering fully, insteading pulling data from other services for their organic local listings.The search engine for local results is also outside of the main index on a different URL in comparison to Google which implements the full shebang inside the results. Bing Local is powered by Multimap, which in turn pulls data from Marketlocation.com – a bit of a round the houses approach to get going, which will undoubtedbly change over time. For that reason to get listed you’ll need to go to market location at this URL to get listed.
The offering is more detailed than Google’s and each local listing in Bing provides additional snapshot information – including directions. However they do go down the “service” then “location” route – with two input boxes to help users perform the search more accurately and put them in that mindset.
Yahoo Local Search
URL: http://search.infoserve.com/are_you_listed.asp?action=NoBusinessFound Yahoo local search gets its data from infoserve, and also feeds data to cityvisitor amongst others. Yahoo supplements its data with user based reviews of products and services. Its also worth getting positive reviews from happy customers here. Don’t be tempted to fill in fake reviews. This is the web, and you’ll be taken to the cleaners by whoever spots your self service. With social media being what it is today, it only takes one small snowball to start rolling to ruin your credibility.
URL: http://www.thomsonlocal.com/free-listing.aspx Thompson Local is one of the better directories to get listed in, as they have an already well established online and offline presence. Thomson began operating in 1980 and quickly established itself as one of the leading Local directory publishers. Today, Thomson produce 173 editions of the directory, distributing some 22 million copies. All this information, and more, is available and now easily searchable on ThomsonLocal.com. As well as commercial advertising options it is possible to get listed in this local directory for free. They have a wide range of partner sites which use their data, and ad network, so getting included is useful for regional traffic.
URL: http://www.yelldirect.com/internetadvertising/standardlistings/ The Yellow Pages I’ve mentioned before as a business the web changed forever. Whilst I did give them a bit of a pasting before, they do offer free listings for businesses. If you are listed in this you are likely to at the very least appear in some additional searches, and whilst your website traffic may not improve as a result, you may get some additional sales leads off the back of it. Yell do however offerÂ their Business Database as Yell Data – which they can do what they want with, including selling it to third parties for telemarketing purposes.
URL: http://www.scoot.co.uk/advertise/free-listing.html Scoot is a wholly owned subsiduary of ITV plc. in order to strengthen its online advertising arm. They have a free listening available, which includes a website URL, and interestingly even a Twitter account Id. They offer a mobile site for those of you who can access the web with your phone. They also have a couple of additional fields, which denote whether you can sell online, what time your business opens amongst others. Obviously the more you give, the more you get.
Other Local Resources
Touch Local at time of writing has over 6 million monthly searches for businesses across the UK and Ireland.
No doubt you are already in there, but just in case. The phone book may also lead to free listings in other places.