One of the most exciting things to happen for local businesses recently is the introduction of Google Places (formally Google Maps), giving the local business owner targeted traffic, and the opportunity to get on the first page of Google in their local area.
This is now helping to level the playing field, giving the local business a good chance of competing with the large National companies, and in fact giving the advantage over them, forcing the National companies to lose the tight grip that they have had over local businesses.
How can this help your local business, and what is Google Places all about? Well, Google have recently discovered that most people using the Internet to find products and services are looking for a local business to provide it for them.
In their wisdom Google have decided to change the way that the search results are being presented to the searcher, by favouring the local business and presenting local results first, in fact some National results are not showing up at all, in local searches.
The results of the searches are shown with a description of the services offered, and a map that shows where the local business is located.
This does not happen automatically though, the local business owner needs to list their business in Google places, and for the best result the listing should be well optimized, to get onto the first page of Google, in their local area.
A lot of local businesses are slow to do this, mainly because it is a little complicated, but also because a lot of them are not fully aware of this exciting opportunity.
To get a good listing it is advisable to act fast, as there are only a number of places on the first page of Google, and they are filling up fast, which will make it a lot more difficult for those that are slow to act.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For Targeted Traffic.
If you have a business that has several categories, such as a widow company, you could have several listings by, listing each category separately; you could have a listing for windows, one for doors and one for conservatories, this way the customer that wants new windows, will see that you are a specialist in windows, and the same goes for the other categories too.
This would mean that your visitors would be targeted, and therefore more likely to ask you for a price, giving you more chances of making more sales, and earning more money for your local business.
As more and more people are now searching online instead of offline (Yellow Pages and local Newspapers), it would be a good idea to have a local website, as a lot of people like to see what the local business has to offer before they visit or telephone them.
This would strengthen the above strategy even more, as you would have a link to your website from your listings, to the appropriate category page of your website for your prospect to visit, creating even more credibility for your local business.
Are you beginning to see how this would work, and the power behind it? You see most local businesses are not very familiar with the Internet and they don´t know how it works, so they would be unlikely to be able to do this for themselves, and some of them would be reluctant to hire an expert to do it for them, because of the costs involved.
This does require a lot of work and time spent doing it, but it is worth the effort, or the costs involved in hiring someone, as the results would mean that you could well dominate the market for your product or service in your local area.
I do hope that by now you can see how targeted traffic can help your local business to get onto the first page of Google places in your local area.
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Here’s to your success
Wolfgang Bloomfield is a full time internet marketer, and he has studied SEO in detail, as this is what makes or breaks any business that is using the Internet. Find out more by visiting his website.