The first 3 local SEO steps for your Michigan business after publishing your new website

Your new Michigan business website is done!  The keywords have been researched and implemented on the page.  The title and H tags are in order.  Your meta description and tags are unique and relevant.  So where’s the first stop in getting your local SEO campaign running smoothly?

Glad you asked!  In this post we are going to talk about the first three places you should be registering your site at for local search engine optimization efforts.  These are going to make those searches for “pizza restaurant canton michigan” result in you showing up in local search displays with the major search engines.

In order of importance:

#1 – Google Places for business

http://www.google.com/placesforbusiness

This is the single most important thing you will ever do for your local optimization efforts.  Google Places will help your business appear in local search results that you normally would not rank for.  Upon performing a local search Google will display a map of the area with pinned locations for businesses relevant to the inquiry.

The key here is to optimize and add as much content to the listing as possible so as to be ranked higher in the list.  Only a certain number of websites will be listed on the first map displayed.  You want to be on the map in the first page.

To do so you need to make your entry as appealing to Google as possible.  Google wants to deliver the best results it can to it’s users.  A page that is keyword relevant with unique content, filled with images and videos, and positively reviewed by users is what is going to make your listing rise to the top.

After completing your entry Google will mail a letter to your business address that will have information on how to validate your listing.  This is extremely important as well because having a validated listing with your business address and phone number will give you a level of trust from Google.  More trust from Google = higher rankings.  That is true for non-Google Places rankings as well.

If you do anything for your local SEO efforts, create a Google Places account.

#2 – Bing Business Portal

http://www.bing.com/businessportal

Bing is now the second most popular search engine for local results.  Like Google they have a validated local business procedure where you can create and optimize your account.  All of the advice that rang true for your Google Places account also applies to your Bing listing.  Validate, optimize, and add as much content to the listing as possible.

#3 – Yahoo Local Listings

http://listings.local.yahoo.com/

Yahoo is geared more for business as a paid directory, but they do have a free local listings program.  I almost went with Yelp instead because the reviews left there transfer over to your Bing account.  I decided to stick with Yahoo however, as it still is a bigger player in the local search game.  A paid listing at Yahoo will run you $300 a year.  It is a powerful authority link back to your site if you can afford the yearly cost.  If not, just do the free listing and put your time into other ventures.

We hope that this has been helpful advice in starting your local search engine optimization campaigns.  If you found the information stop by our Google Places account and leave us a review.  Hey, we didn’t say it was important for nothing!

ajac Web Design Google Places account

By Charles Daniels

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