Google are now putting significant emphasis on local search and seem top be a locating a certain number of positions in the top ten search results for locally based companies. If you are a local company offering local services then otimising your chance of showing in search results via local listings is something you cannot afford to ignore. If you are a florist selling flowers within 5 miles of your shop, a local garage servicing vehicles in the immediate area or a builder who also provides services to local people, why not do a very very simply things to get more traffic?
NAP refers to Name, Address and Phone number. This information needs to be listed on your site and to be relatively easy to find because this information Google use this to match against other copies of your NAP such as on your Google Plus page and any directories listings you have and against Companies House to try and work out how much they should trust you as a genuine business. The addresses and telephone number should be consistent across the internet and match Companies House. If there are any inconsistencies with this data then try and do everything you can to get the incorrect versions updated. The higher your trust rank, the better chance you have to rank in the local business results.
As a small business, make sure you have a Google Plus page and make sure to fill out as much of your profile as you can and as accurately as you can. This acts as another level of trust and having a Google Plus page increases your chances of showing in local search. Also try to genuinely use your Google + page to engage with your local customers.
Local Business Listing
The next step is to create a Local Business Listing and this you can do via the Google ‘Places for Business‘ pages. Once again (and my apologies for boring you with this detail) make sure that the NAP information is consistent with the other listings you have created and have online. Also fill in as much of the business listing information as you possibly can. DO try and enter your work hours, payment types and as much information as you can.
Local Directories provide a great opportunity to further develop your profile and certain directories can be very valuable. Yell.co.uk and Tthomsonlocal.com for example are well respected directories and which is can be worth being listed on. Do beware though of some of the lesser respectable directories which in fact may come across to Google more as spammy sites rather than serious and genuine directories. The real benefit of these directories (apart from organic traffic if you can get it) is that these listings can help to further increase your TrustRank (provided the NAP is consistent).
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