If you are a small business, its likely that most or all of your business comes from a certain geographic area, and that’s the truth for Inforest too. Even though we’ve worked for companies as far away as Japan, most of our clients are within a couple hours drive. Part of this is practical, but I’ve also observed that, all other things being equal, people tend to want to work with a local business.
One of Inforest Communications self-marketing projects is to improve our ranking for local searches in Princeton, New Jersey. So we are taking the time to update and create profile pages in various local search and rating pages. Our goal is primarily to place higher for searches in Google for key phrases like “Web design Princeton, NJ.” We are currently on the first page, but would like to find ourselves within the top three results by the end of the year. We moved from Trenton, NJ to Princeton, NJ in March 2009, so we need to make up for some lost time.
So how does Google know we are in Princeton? Well, we have Princeton, NJ in the title and copy of our home page, which helps. We also have our address on our contact page and we are listed in Google Places. However, if you look at the Web pages that Google has pointing to our Web site, you find that most of these list our old Trenton address. Does this have a negative effect on our Princeton keyword ranking? Well, we are still the number one search result for “Web design Trenton, NJ.” I suspect it might.
So, I have begun the process of updating and creating new profile pages on some of the more popular local search sites. Here are some links:
- Google Places
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Local Listing Center
- Yelp for Business Owners
- Merchant Circle
There are probably even more local search sites, and we will post additional links as we come across them. As it turns out, it takes time to register with these sites and fill out the profiles, which can add up to several hours. In several cases, we have duplicate listings, which hopefully will get corrected and not work against us. Next steps include getting our clients to fill out some reviews for us.
Truth is, creating local listings is kind of fun. While other link building avenues limit what you can say about yourself, most local sites give you a lot of space to add photos and talk about your business. Local search is still relatively new on folks radar, now is a great time to get a jump on your competition.
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About Dana Hutchins
Dana is founder of Inforest Communications and has over fifteen years of Web design and development experience. Dana is involved in all aspects of business development and marketing of the firm, including serving as primary consultant on Internet and Web strategy to Inforest clients. His Web development responsibilities are primarily focused on writing custom modules,themes and plugins to make Drupal and WordPress sites run and look better. He also writes custom Web applications that have been used in online calendaring, e-commerce and surveys.
Dana’s favorite programming acronyms are PHP, MySQL, CSS3, HTML5 and jQuery. However, what really gets him excited is the opportunity to use these tools to build Web sites that solve business needs and create new opportunities for his clients.