Posts Tagged ‘hyperlocal search’

List of Free Online Directories

February 15th, 2012

Make Sure Your Company is On Them

If you are a small local business, it is important that prospective customers can find you when they do a local search, ex. “farm market vernon nj or bookkeeping chester ny.” Adding your business to free online directories is a great way to enhance your web visibility.  Take a look at the graphic below.  Because of online directories, our client is in EVERY single result on the first page of Google for the term preschool pine island ny.

Local Directory Graphic

Our Top 10 – OK 13 – List of Free Online Directories

You don’t need to upgrade your listings in online directories to gain a benefit.  All of the directory listing results in the graphic with the exception of one are FREE basic listings.  Some directories play a greater role in visibility than others.  Here is our top 13 list of free online directories – not in any specific order – that you should submit your business to:

  • Google Places
    Yahoo Local
    Bing Local
  • We recommend that you also submit your business to any local, regional and industry related directories.  Some of these may require a fee, such as in our graphic, but their visibility may make the expense worthwhile.

    Google Places PO Box Update

    February 9th, 2012

    PO Boxes Picture

    As we covered in our previous post Can I Use a PO Box As My Google Places Address?, Google does not approve of using a PO Box as an address in you’re your Google Places listing. Google reaffirmed this position in an update to the Google Places Quality Guideline stating:

    Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations. If you operate from a location but receive mail at a mail box there, please list your physical address in Address Line 1, and put your mail box or suite number in Address Line 2.

    Thankfully, this revision makes it easier for businesses who receive mail via PO Boxes rather than at their physical location. So while a PO Box cannot be your sole Google Places address, it can now be included in your address – hopefully without any issues.

    What Happened To Google Tags?

    April 21st, 2011

    Those bright yellow Google Tags that highlighted your business will soon be history.

    According to an email from Google, the company will be retiring the tags on April 29th. If you currently run a Google Tags campaign and you didn’t get the email – hopefully you will – let this posting serve as your notice. While we received an email notification for one of our client’s, we did not receive one for our own account. Instead, we received the following email:

    According to an email from Google, the company will be retiring the tags on April 29th. If you currently run a Google Tags campaign and you didn’t get the email – hopefully you will – let this posting serve as your notice. While we received an email notification for one of our client’s, we did not receive one for our own account. Instead, we received the following email:

    “This is to notify you that the following offers in your Google Places account will expire in 13 days on 4/30/11.

    15% Off SEO Services

    We are sorry to bother you but we thought we’d let you know early, in case you wished to extend their lifetime or replace them. Please visit Google Places to extend the expiry date of your offers or to replace them with new ones. After expiration, the offers will no longer be displayed until they are renewed.


    Kind of confusing, huh? Perhaps you also received this email. But it is official. The Google Tags will soon be no more. Once we logged into our Google Places account, there was a notification up top saying:

    What Happened to Google Tags?

    What Happened to Google Tags?

    It appears that Google is trying to push its new Google Boost – a very simplified version of AdWords that you supposedly “don’t” have to manage, in place of Tags, which will make them money (as Google Tags was a nominal fee), but cost you more. Google mentioned Boost – and even offered a $100 Boost credit for Tags users for the month of May – in its email and in our Places dashboard. When Google first started Tags, it offered its users a free month credit, i.e., $25. So it seems Google wants you to spend at least $100 per month on Boost.

    Google Tags worked well for our clients, both in terms of visibility and cost of conversion. It’s a shame that it will no longer be available.

    So if you notice that your Google Tag is no longer showing, or if you finally decided to try Google Tags and logged into your Places account and see no option for it, you will no longer have to wonder what happened to Google Tags.

    Google Hotpot Reviews Now Rolled Into Google Places

    April 12th, 2011

    Hotpot is a recommendation engine that displays reviews and ratings of local businesses and establishments. Until last week, Google Hotpot reviews were integrated with Google Places in the iPhone and Android Google Places apps when users were searching Google Maps or You set a geographical location and local reviews were displayed. Now Google has rolled Hotpot into Google Places.

    According to Google, the Hotpot “community has quickly expanded to millions of users who are rating more than one million times per month and enjoying a truly personalized view of the world.” So they are making Hotpot a permanent part of Google Places. They also plan to add more features to Google Places to make it even easier to rate, discover and share.

    How does merging Google Hotpot Reviews into Google Places affect you?

    If you have a Google Places account, make sure it is complete and optimized. If you don’t have one, create one. You have to be found in order to be reviewed!

    Google Places Mobile App Improvements

    February 25th, 2011

    Over the last few months, Google has been making it easier for users to find local businesses on their mobile devices. Last month it released the Google Places iPhone App. This month, it has launched an “open now” search filter –available on Droid and iPhone in the US – so your results only show currently opened businesses. These hours are based on a business’ Google Places Listing – just one more reason to make sure your listing is complete and accurate.

    Droid and iPhone mobile users can also filter their Google Places search by star ratings and distance as well as enjoy some additional enhanced features – images, reviews from around the web, and larger buttons to click to view a map or directly call a business.

    With continuous Google Places Mobile App improvements we can’t stress enough the importance of robust Google Places Listings.

    Why do I need a mobile website? One important reason (among others) is because in the last year Google has seen a 400% increase in the number of mobile searches.

    February 14th, 2011

    Last week Google held its ThinkMobile event. The statistical insights it provided highlighted how big and powerful mobile search is and how much bigger it will become. As mentioned above, Google reported a 400% increase in the number of mobile searches in the last year. In fact, they say currently about 20% of its searches are mobile searches.

    As Google showed, the stats are even more powerful for local businesses.

    Slide from Google ThinkMobile Event

    Slide from Google ThinkMobile Event

    And the demand for smart phones is ever increasing. In took only 17 hours for Verizon iPhone pre-orders to sell out. Analysts estimate that Apple will sell 9 million to 12 million iPhones on Verizon’s network alone this year. Add to that, Nielson’s estimate that by the end of 2011, 1 in 2 Americans will have a smart phone

    Why do I need a mobile website is no longer really the question. The real question today is “How quickly can I create one?”

    What is Yext Advertising? A New Way for Small Businesses to Be Found Online Through Local Search

    January 5th, 2011

    Similar to Google tags, the brand new Yext Advertising allows you to highlight your business listings with a – yellow tag.  But unlike Google Tags – which are simply seen on Google – when you advertise with Yext, your highlighted listing can appear on multiple search engines including Yahoo, Yelp, MapQuest, Superpages, Citysearch, Yellowbook, WhitePages and many more.

    You can create custom messages such as coupons, specials, new products or services, and more.  And you control/update your tag on all of Yext’s partner search engines from one dashboard – quite a time saver.

    The power of Yext advertising

    According to Yext’s website, “recent studies performed on Google search results showed that businesses highlighted with a Google Tag received more than twice the attraction from prospective customers. Through special partnerships, Yext now offers you a new way to advertise your business listings on leading local search sites.”

    The cost is $99.95 per month.  Although this is four times the cost of Google Tags, your listing is showing on more places.  You can try it out free for 7 days.

    While we don’t think Yext Tags are going to replace Google Local Search, they are another affordable way to expand your web presence.

    Hyperlocal Marketing For Small Businesses

    October 22nd, 2010

    Hyperlocal marketing is a fabulous way for small, local businesses to get the word out about their products and services – both online and off – to their communities. This post will focus on how to gain online visibility in your local community.

    Hyperlocal marketing – or should we say hyperlocal search – for small businesses

    Local search is really gaining traction. More and more people are moving away from browsing through the local phone book and turning toward searching for businesses, services and products online. When they do, can they find you? Here are some Hyperlocal Search tips:

    1. Create a local business center listing on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Make it robust with specific information about your services and products, pictures, videos and discount offers – and make sure to use relevant keywords in the appropriate places.
    2. Optimize your website with the names of your town and surrounding towns.
    3. Incorporate Google Maps in your website – you can even customize Google Maps to show your service routes.
    4. Get listed in online directories.
    5. Incorporate local events on your site.

    Hyperlocal marketing or in this case hyperlocal search is a truly effective way for small businesses to target customers where they live and shop. For those of you who don’t have the experience or know-how to implement these tips, you can always reach out to your SEO consultant for help.