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How to get your local business found again

Visit Google and type “Web Design near Washington , DC” into the search box.

Are you there?

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If that’s not your business, that’s ok. Enter something you’d expect someone to be looking for near your town and see what you get.

Here’s another example:

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So much for the Yellow Pages, eh?

Six months ago, the examples above would have produced almost no local search results. The services were there, but few were making use of them. Now, things are picking up for local search on Google and other hot Internet properties as well.

This blew me away. I know for a fact there is “leadership training near Philadelphia, PA” so why is there nothing listed?

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Talk about a missed opportunity.

If you’re behind the curve on this, that’s ok. The trend is still picking up and I’ve spoken to local business owners who are actually still getting business as a direct result of ads in the Yellow Pages.

I wouldn’t wait for long though.

Visit http://www.google.com/local/add and add your business today.

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The process is simple. Click Add new business and start filling out the form.

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Isn’t it nice when things are easy?

Say “Thank you Google.”

The key here is to fill everything out completely. In the description field, don’t leave it blank. If you saw two listings and one had complete information and the other didn’t, who would you choose? Don’t be the business that doesn’t get the clicks. Google made it way to easy for you to get a local search listing…take the 5 minutes to do it right.

There’s more to building and managing your presence online than a mere listing like this, but for most businesses, this is a big first step that’s easy to do. After you have your local listing, you can take other baby steps to build a credible and authoritative presence online.

For an even longer list of local search directories, check here.