Let’s take a look at what you would find if you did a search on Google for a pizza restaurant in Kennesaw, Georgia. In this example you would do a search for the term “pizza + Kennesaw, GA.” Here are the results.

Picture 21

There are five things I want you to notice

  • The results show a map with the location of 10 pizza restaurants, even though there are many more than 10 pizza restaurants in the Kennesaw area. Why only 10 results?
  • The first result is Papa John’s Pizza, but why?
  • All the results show a telephone number.
  • Some of the results have reviews and some don’t.
  • Not all of the pizza restaurants have websites which is indicated by the link to maps.google.com

Which pizza parlor would you be most likely to contact?

  • Would you contact “Gondolier Pizza?” Probably not, since they didn’t appear in the results. They happen to be the first result on the next page … where very few people look.
  • Would you consider Papa John’s because they’re in the top spot? Many people do.
  • Would you give consideration to “Bergamo’s Pizza & Pasta” because they have 23 reviews … 17 more reviews than their closest competitor? Again, many people are swayed by positive and negative reviews.
  • How important is the location? With some businesses it’s very important, with others it’s not.
  • Does the fact that a pizza restaurant has a website matter? It might if you want to see their menu.

pizzaIf you click on the “More results near Kennesaw, GA” link, you will find that a few of the businesses have done additional things to make their business stand out even more. Some offer coupons and show photos of their pizza and restaurant. Others show reviews with star ratings and more.

And did I mention that getting your business listed in Google Maps is FREE? But remember, Google is only one of the many sites where people look for your business. You want to be on all of them.

I Know What You’re Thinking

  • How can I get my business to show up on Google, Bing, Yahoo! Local.com, Ask.com and other sites where my customers are searching including the online Yellow Pages, Merchant Circle, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Merchant Circle and others?
  • How can I get my business to show up in 411 directory services so that people can find me with their iPhones and other mobile devices?
  • How can I get my business listed on GPS devices so that people can find me from their car?
  • How can I make my business stand out among my competitors?
  • Can I do this without having to pay for advertising?
  • Am I capable of doing this myself?
  • What will happen if I choose to do nothing?

This is what you need to do to generate business from your business listing. In fact, most of what needs to be done is so easy, a monkey could do it. ***

How Much Business Can You Expect From Local Search?

Here’s an example of the results from a bed and breakfast on Maui. The blue line represents how many times Google showed his business listing, and the green line represents how many times someone clicked through to the business listing or website.

Picture-22In In this example, the owner of Eva Villa Bed and Breakfast receives an average of 18 inquiries (or actions) every day. This is the equivalent of 540 inquiries a month or over 6,000 inquiries a year. And this does not include the number of people who see the telephone number in the listing and just call.

If he were to pay Google to advertise his business using their pay-per-click Adwords service, he would be investing over $12,000/year for the same number of leads, and those leads would cease the moment he stopped paying for the service.

The leads he receives from local search however are free, and they will come day after day, month after month for as long as his business is on the first page of the Google Local Search results. And keep in mind that these 6,000 plus leads are only coming from one search site, Google. He’s also generating leads from other search sites including Yahoo!, Bing, Merchant Circle and more.

Results Will Vary

resultsThe quantity and quality of the leads you receive from local search sites is different for every business and it depends on a variety of factors including:

  1. Did the business owner select the most profitable categories for his business listing.
  2. Is the business listed on the first page of multiple search sites? And if so, how many sites?
  3. How compelling is the business listing? Did the business owner use images, videos, coupons, reviews, and an effective call to action?
  4. How many citations does the business have and where are they from?

One thing is for certain, if you don’t participate in local search marketing, your competition surely will.  Take advantage of the information on this site and get your business optimized and publicized on the most important search sites as soon as you can. You will reap the rewards in new business for a long time to come.

*** The monkey must have some basic computer and marketing skills.

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