Whether you are an independent small business owner or a local franchise of a national chain, if you want to grow your business, you need new local customers coming through your door on a regular basis. One of the single most important things you can do to ensure local customers discover you, is to maintain your local business listing information. That’s right—before you jump on board with the next local search app or social media tool, make sure you have a handle on how and where your business is listed online.
Though most of the tech media is in love with Facebook, Twitter and to a lesser extent Pinterest, Google+ has proven itself to be a rising social media star as of late. Compared to its rivals, however, Google+ is a different kind of network. In particular, Google+ Local allows businesses to network and market their services at the same time. For legal professionals, the possibilities for promotion are quite simply endless. With 280 million current active users and climbing, its potential to reach clients is immense. Any lawyer or law firm can use it to ramp up business with the right approach.
The word is out: old-school search engine optimization techniques are officially out of style. Antiquated methods of keyword stuffing and link building on your business profiles will now get a website penalized instead in the major search engines. In short, "ugly text" is no longer an acceptable practice for building an audience online.
There are many methods that Google and the other major search engines used to determine spam in business listings. The most prevalent of these methods will be listed below.
What we now recognize as social media has come a long way since the early days of Friendster and Myspace at the start of the last decade. Nowadays, social media sites like Facebook are the web for many. In fact, it's even replaced Google entirely for some people when it comes to finding businesses and choosing service providers. Local listings on sites like Citysearch and Yellowpages are all well and good but they won't really raise your profile to any great extent. To achieve impressive results, you'll need to get interactive with social media on a deeper level.