Don’t want to hire a pro to get yourself ranked in the Google Local listings? With some time, elbow grease, and a willingness to learn, it’s certainly possible—like most things nowadays, all the information is on the web for your digestive pleasure.
A great place to start is here: David Mihm’s annual local results search engine factors for 2010. For the last several years, Mr. Mihm has put out this very helpful guide on what factors search engines like Google use to determine who comes up on those increasingly important listings at the top of most local search results. The data is aggregated from experts in the field and the result is a very comprehensive view of what works and what hurts.
If I had to sum it up into a few key points it would be these:
2. Don’t cheat! Don’t put things like your city name or specialty in places it doesn’t belong. Put things where they’re supposed to go. Your business name should be nothing other than what you go by, not “John Adams, Dentist In Schaumburg, Specializing In Cosmetics”
3. Make your listing complete and user friendly. Put up pictures, and preferably video. (See here for why I love videos…)
4. List yourself everywhere you possibly can. For instance, sign up and create an account on Yelp and many similar sites like it.
My summary is a 30,000 foot view and the original article goes into more detail, so if you want to DIY your own local search results, check it out. I will also be going into more detail on some of the more intricate points above in future posts.