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Really, I wanted to ask: a two-part question 

Part 1: How much new business are you gaining through local pages and review sites like Google Maps, Yahoo Local, Bing Business Portal, & Yelp?

a) Less than 5%

b) 5 -- 10%

c)10 -- 25%

d) more than 25%!!

e) much, much more than 25%!!!!

f)I have no idea

 

Part 2:

What are your strategies for success in local online marketing with similar review pages?

 

 

Also I thought, why not share this quick tutorial, on establishing one such site? So, here goes:


Establishing or locating and claiming your business on Google Maps

 

  1. Set up a Google email account, or gmail account, by visiting www.gmail.com. After you’ve established a gmail account, you’ll have a means to claim your business listing.

 

  1. Go to www.maps.google.com. Do a search for your business, using your business name and the location.
    1. Note that just because you haven’t yet set up a Google Places account does not mean that your business isn’t already listed on Google Maps. The listings on Google maps could be pulled from any number of sources, you need not be the original author of the listing.
    2. So you will have to either, find your business listing and claim this listing, or you will not find the listing, and therefore you will have to create a business listing. Either way the following  will apply to you:

 

I’m setting up an account for a client. A Google Maps search reveals that the business I’d like to establish on Google Maps is already listed (a listing figure 1.)

(fig.1: You’ll see the key words listed in the in the Google search bar, the subsequent listings on the left-hand side of the screen, and a map of the business location on the right.) 

 

  1. Now it is time to claim this listing, so we can ensure correct contact information and website link and establish a rich listing with photos, key-word rich descriptions, and video.

 

 

(In fig. 2 you’ll see the fields on the left, which will populate into the listing on the right-hand side.) 

 

As you step through the process you’ll be prompted upload and add a variety of content. 

 

After you complete the listing you’ll get a prompt to verify that you are in fact the business owner. You can verify this either by post or by an automated call to the phone number on the listing. In either case, you’ll receive a confirmation code which you can input into the passcode field (demonstrated in (fig. 3).  

 

 

 

(figure 3 electing a method to confirm that you are the business owner)

 

In this case, I have elected to receive the confirmation code by mail. In two – three weeks the code will arrive and then I will input the code into the corresponding field to prove ownership and take control over the listing. 

 

You'll see the listing is owner-verified in the upper right hand corner. And with all the images, the listing is looking pretty sharp. (You'll see below in fig 4, I've rated it 5 stars).

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I just love how local search marketing, although it brings in little traffic, convert to leads.

My answer is d) more than 25%!!

 

Stefan Holm,

Local Search Marketing

 

To increase sales and run any business profitably you need customers. To get customers you need a smart well thought out advertising strategy, you need to reach out to your potential customers and gain their trust.  Almost everyone today uses the web to shop or hire a service or at least to do a little market research and to identify the company they wish to deal with. With the evolution in communication technology and the dynamic nature of the business world, Internet is quickly becoming a natural extension of our lives. If today you don’t have an active online presence, you are sure to miss out on a substantial share of your potential customers.

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In this tech-savvy era, local search engine marketing coupled with social media marketing is an important and integral part of business marketing strategies today, especially for small and medium scale enterprises. The changing face of the web and great show of ingenuity by major online companies primarily Google, Facebook and Twitter has made it possible for anyone to capitalize the internet for marketing his goods and services. 

I completely agree with you Mike Fox, local search marketing coupled with social media marketing is very important for any business to make its presence felt in a particular location. And with the widespread use of internet these have become an indispensable part of any business, irrespective of its size. 

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