Local search isn’t something that can be ignored. In the past people used the phone book or Yellow Pages to find local businesses and services. In this day and age we know that most people turn to their smart phones and Google searches to find what’s near them. If you do business locally and haven’t submitted your address to Google Places you are falling behind in your marketing needs. Whether you have a brick and mortar store or run your business online, you should be using local search in your marketing and SEO strategies.
If you don’t have a physical address because your company is virtual or run solely online, there are ways you can be listed in Google Local. PO boxes are not allowed but companies such as Mailboxes Plus allow you have to mail box with their address and a suite number. The United States Postal Service has caught on to the competition and the importance for businesses to have local mailing addresses for Google’s search results. USPS now offers street addressing. If you are looking to change your address get this usps change of address form.
USPS is now offering a new service for their post office box clients. If you need a local address, you can use the physical address of the post office location and will be given a unique suite number. This makes it possible for businesses who don’t have store fronts to be listed in local searches. Again, just by submitting the address doesn’t guarantee your ranking. You will still need to properly optimize and have an effective SEO strategy to rank at the top of Google Places.
So, why is this important? Google customizes search results for each users based on location and browsing history. Local companies are favored in search results. Local listings appear at the top of a search result because businesses in a different city from the user show no relevance. Google is frequently updating their search queries to favor relevant searches for the user. Even when you don’t include the zip code or city name during a search for a service or business, local search results usually always appear at the top of your results.
Author: Krystle Green is the Vice President of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.