Getting your business listing to rank high on the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing is important, but if your listing isn’t compelling enough to encourage searchers to initiate contact with you, your high ranking is meaningless.

If you’ve spent any time in the Local Search Marketing community, you know that there’s been a lot of research done by many experts including our people here at VisOnTheNet, to identify how to get your business listed on the first page of results. A great resource is the¬†2010 Local Search Ranking Factors Report by David Mihm which I encourage you to read.

As Local Search Marketing Experts we tend to share our thoughts on how you can get your business listing to the top of the search results page. What we ¬†haven’t done is show you how to use your business listing to persuade potential customers to initiate contact.

That’s why I’ve gone to great lengths to find qualified Local Search Marketing Experts to rank and comment on these Local Search Contact Factors.

I asked our experts to rate and comment on the 22 Contact Factors that influence searchers to initiate contact with your company. I divided the list into two separate categories based on where searchers find your business listing on Google. Yes, this report is Google specific.

Basic Business Listing found in the Google Universal Results

  • Being on the First Page of Map
  • Being at the Top of the Map
  • Number of Business Listings on Map
  • Number of Reviews
  • Telephone Number
  • Website Listed
  • Searched Keywords in Website Domain Name
  • Business Name
  • Searched Keywords in Business Name
  • Location of Business on Map
  • Google Tags
  • Photo In Map Section – This is only applicable if searcher goes to Google Maps.
Comprehensive Business Listing found on your Google Place Page
  • Quality of Reviews
  • Number of Reviews
  • Coupon Offering
  • Transit
  • Photos on Place Page
  • Videos on Place Page
  • Category Selection
  • Business Description Text
  • Business Convenience Factors (Hours of Operation, Payments Accepted, Parking, etc.)
  • Street View of Business
  • Location of Business on Map – The map changes from the organic listing to the Place Page.

You will also notice that we did not include certain factors in our study. For example, we did not include the quality of the website, even though we know this is important factor because it is outside of the scope of a business listing. Nor did we include factors like: where the map results showed up in the universal results, nearby places you might like, more about this place and user content because even though some of these things are important for ranking factors, they have very little to do with “Contact Factors.”

We also define “contact” to mean when a potential customer

  • Telephones your place of business
  • Visits your place of business
  • Sends you an email or fills out a form requesting information

“Contact” does not include visiting your website, looking for directions or going to your Place Page. Contact means human contact.

Unlike Local Search Ranking Factors, Local Search Contact Factors are much more subjective and harder to quantify. We have no way of measuring accurately which factor or factors will prove to be the tipping point causing a searcher to initiate contact. What we do know is that you have almost complete control over how you present these factors to the world when you create your business listing and it does make a difference.

My hope is that you will walk away from this report with dozens of ideas as to how you can take your business listing to the next level.

If you would like to add your thoughts to the discussion, you can do it here. You can even rate the Contact Factors and see the results.

To your Local Search Marketing Success
Bob Sommers
Maui, Hawaii, USA
July, 2010

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