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Did you know your customers spend more time online than they do at work each week? Are you targeting your customers and capturing their business?

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In this tutorial I explain how small local businesses should promote their business online by creating profiles on local service listing websites like Yelp, RedBeacon, YellowPages, Thumbtack and AngiesList. These are very popular sites that help people find great local services. While Yelp is the single most popular local business listing site, different such sites are popular in different areas. To check which site is popular in your area, simply do a Google search for your kind of service in your area, and you will see which sites come up in the top 20 or 30 listings. The reason I suggest the top 20-30 listings and not the top-10 listings is that for different variations of searches, some sites may fall in or out of the top-10, and you want to maximize your potential by taking advantage of all the sites that can possibly appear in Google’s top-10.

Since Yelp is the most popular local business listing site, it is also the most spammed site. That means that they have very good spam and fake review detection algorithms. Other sites like RedBeacon, AngiesList and Thumbtack are much younger businesses, and they have not had enough time or engineers to create equally good fake review detection algorithms. So you have more leeway with sites like YellowPages, RedBeacon, AngiesList or Thumbtack.

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Marketing plan template:

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Getting more people to your storefront used to be hard before the Internet, but not anymore. Through 4 steps you can get more localized traffic.
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Step #1: Get into the local pack. When you perform a search for any localized term you’ll notice a map at the top and 3 localized listings. You want your business to be placed within there.

By setting up Google My Business you are likely to get placed in there. Just submit your business name, address, and phone number.

Step #2: Optimize for localized SEO. Under the local pack are organic listings, you can also be placed there.

Place localized keywords within your webpage. Make sure you also include your address, location and contact details on your website.

Once you do that ask your local chamber of commerce to mention your business. By getting localized links you will rank higher for local keywords.

Step #3: Increase your click through rate. Having a well-placed listing doesn’t ensure you will get traffic.

Generate more reviews so you can get more clicks. You can do this by asking your customers to leave reviews online.

Also, use schema markup so your listing stands out. If you are using WordPress the Yoast SEO plugin will automatically add schema markup.

Step #4: Don’t rely on Google. Use sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp to get more local traffic. Encourage reviews on these sites and do whatever you can to satisfy customers.

When someone leaves a bad review, take their feedback to heart and work on improving the experience for future customers.