Local Marketing FAQs

Tuesday we held our Yext “Become a Local Marketing Expert” webinar. If you missed the webinar you can take a look at the slides or watch the recording here. After the webinar there were a number of questions, and we tried to answer as many as we could before our time was up. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to them all, but as promised, I’ve pulled some of the most popular questions and will answer them now.

Q: What if you are working from home and have a PO Box for your business? Is this a negative?

A: Having a PO Box is not a negative in itself, but it doesnt help you get found on local searches where a map is involved. You want to consider using a physical address for that reason for your business, especially if you get customers through local searches online! For instance if you are a freelance web designer, using a home address is a fine solution that will help you show up in local searches.

Q: Company is under new management. How do you deal with old information on search engines that is no longer accurate, but belongs to former owners of company.

A: The content policies of every search engine or business directory are different, so it is difficult to give a definitive answer. If a sites content policy states that old, inaccurate information no longer relevant to the business will be removed, then you can contact the search engine or business directory pointing to the clause and explaining why the information is no longer accurate. Hopefully they will remove the false information, but again, it is completely at the discretion of the search engine or directory.

Q: There seens to be no rhyme or reason why some are higher than others. Closer businesses are lower, sites with more reviews are lower. It doesn’t seem that the rankings are determined by any sort of formula.

A: Each search engine or business listings directory uses its own algorithm to determine the rankings of the site it returns. The number one priority of the search engine / directory is to return the most relevant results to the searchers. In order to allow the search engines to determine when your listing might be relevant it is important to make sure the location of your business is clear. You can do this by making sure that your business’ address if up-to-date and accurate across the web. If your business has recently opened a new location or moved, you should take extra special care to update your business’ address wherever possible. Secondly, the product or service you offer should also be clear. This can be accomplished by making sure that the keywords and keyword phrases relevant to your business are present throughout your business description and that you are listed under the appropriate categories.

A great way to increase your business’ ranking is to obtain reviews. The more positive review your business has the more authority your business is going to get. The number of reviews is usually a good proxy for age of a business as well as quality and because of this search engines and listings sites often use this as a key factor in determining rank.

Enhancing your listings content with photographs, videos, and a detailed business description also makes your business listings more thorough and therefore more likely that a searcher will choose to click on your listing.

I hope that this helps understand some of the complications involved in local marketing, specifically with regards to local search and business directories. If there are any other questions you would like me to answer please leave them in the comments below.

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