With the rapid growth in the use of mobile devices, Local Search has become a vital part of any search engine optimisation campaign.
Aside from the obvious benefit of being listed, the other consideration with this layout is that the organic listings are being pushed further down the page. Therefore, as a local business, if you are not in the local pack, you risk being virtually invisible.
Google displays local search listings whenever its system detects a search query with local intent. So, by way of an example. If you search for “Carpets in Cheltenham”:
The usual mixture of paid and organic listings are displayed, along with three listings displayed beneath a map; this is the “Local Pack.”
Clicking “More Places” will expand the list to show additional listings:
Just like in the organic listings, the order that businesses appear and whether they are presented in the Local Pack is decided by an algorithm. And just like the organic listings, Google does not tell us what weighting it gives to the various listing factors.
In the example above, Tony Mustoe’s Carpets are top of the local search listing. If you visit their site, you will see that it’s not because they have a great website. In fact, the site is not even mobile responsive.
To be useful, only businesses that are proximate to the search query or the searcher’s actual location are shown. We also know that consistency of address details, opening times, and business categories are all paramount.
In addition to Google, there are many local search engines, local directories and apps. These search engines are sent business information by aggregators that collate and verify the information. In the UK, these aggregators are Factual, Central Index, ThompsonLocal and Foursquare.
The information about your business is then available to entities like:
- Touch local
- The Independent
- The Sun
- The Mirror
- and countless other local and national listings.
It stands to reason that your credibility as a business will be improved if the major search engines find your business details consistently shown across all these listings.
Directory Submission Services
If information about a business is unavailable from the aggregators, then the local search engines may create their own version of listings from public information. This could be automatically generated listings from companies’ house data, your website and other sources. This can create a problem when a business has more than one address, e.g. a registered office and a showroom. And more so where the business categories are inaccurate or confused.
The internet is full of directories. In fact, the early search engines were glorified directories with listings and categories.
Making sure that you are only listed in directories that will help your business get found by potential customers is vital. Some degree of caution should be exercised before mass submitting a company listing via an automated service.
Local Search Listing Management Service
Rather than starting at the bottom and trying to keep hundreds of directory listings up to date, we offer a smarter way of working.
We create a “master listing” for your business and submit that listing to the top aggregators. They, in turn, distribute your business information to all the local search engines, local directories and apps that need it.
By creating one central listing with your business details, categories, opening times, access arrangements and holiday times, we can save you hours of work.
Every time you need to change any aspect of your listing, we amend your master listing causing the changes to be pushed to the aggregators and propagated through to the directories.
As part of this service, we provide analytics data to show how your listing is performing and work on a plan to improve them.