How to: Be Friends With Search Engines
Updated: Jan 10
If I "google" your type of business...
How long do I have to scroll down the page to get to your listing? I've got news for you. No one sees your listing if it's not on the first page. Luckily, you have options! You need customers to have the ability to find you! This is where it pays to become friends with Google (and a couple of other search engines). If you haven't already, go to Businesses (google.com) and set up a "Google My Business" Account. It's totally free. Just follow the directions (which include a verification postcard being sent to your location to verify that you are a real human). Then do all of the things google offers! Send out invites for your customers to review you, post to the account, and keep it current! Google rewards businesses that utilize its tools by pushing you up the search results when someone is looking for you, making it more likely for customers to land on your site. But wait! There's more! Although Google is by far the most popular search engine, the runners up are equally important! Bing and Yahoo are also used heavily, so make sure that you are up to date with them too! To get in good standing with Bing, go to their hub Bing Places for Business. They even offer to sync with your Google listing every so often so that you don't have to update two constantly! Yahoo is a little trickier. They have outsourced their listing work, so you'll have to go here: http://www.yext.com/pl/yahoo-claims/index.html. Search for your listing with them, and don't panic when it doesn't come up. Set up your info with them, and (again) don't panic when they offer you four paid ways to have a listing on Yahoo. Scroll just under those paid plans to the tiny words "Claim your Basic Listing only on Yahoo." Look hard. They are REALLY TINY. Click there and "check out" for $0. Then follow the rest of their directions to update your listing!
Again, make sure you keep this stuff up to date! This is a give a little, get a little sort of relationship. Make sure you use these platforms, and you will be rewarded with movement up the search engine ladder. Enjoy!