All too often businesses choose to focus solely on getting their websites to rank nationally, than pay attention to the benefits of local SEO.

Yet this is a big mistake…

The reality is, unless you are a large company with the staffing and facilities to cater to the whole country, you’ll most likely provide your services to the local community. And if that is the case, then it is essential that you take the time to establish strong local SEO rankings to ensure your business remains profitable and busy.

Not only can local SEO help to boost your online presence, but place your business listings in the right place and they can do all the work for you.

What is a local business listing?

Local business listings usually comprise of getting your business name, address, phone number and other details onto an online profile. Once there you can benefit from the chance to freely advertise your business without parting with a penny.

Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Internet Yellow Pages and Yahoo Local are just a few of the thousands of free directories online where local businessowners can easily promote their business and increase their visibility on the internet.

And the more listings you create, the greater the chances are of customers finding your website.

Naturally incorporating local keywords into your website content will help to improve your rankings and gain the attention of customers looking for local businesses; however by also harnessing local online business directories, you can help to boost your sites reputation and credibility.

Ask any customer what they do first when looking to purchase a product or hire a service, and they will tell you that they will spend hours researching you online first before visiting your website, to make sure you are the right choice for them.

With this understanding it makes sense that the more visible you are online, the more they will trust in your offering – and local business directories are the easiest way to achieve this. The fact, that local business indexes tend to share data with each other is great news for you as they can help assist in your online marketing endeavours, but also improve your chances of ranking well in local searches.

How do I qualify for a Local Business Directory listing?

Local Business Directory Listings may be free; however you first need to meet the following 4 criteria in order to qualify for a listing:

  • Have a business name or DBA
  • Have a local phone number that matches your city location – this cannot be a shared number, toll-free number or a call tracking number; it must be genuine
  • Have a physical street address – again this cannot be shared nor can it be a PO box or virtual office
  • You must make face-to-face contact with your customers – your business cannot be conducted solely online/virtually; you must have physical contact with your consumers

Match this criteria and local business directories can offer an instant boost to your local SEO rankings; especially as you can tailor your advert to contain your chosen keywords.

So before launching an SEO campaign, remember – local SEO can have a much more powerful impact to your sales and business success than claiming to be a national service. Prove that you’re local and you will look more appealing to potential customers.