Citations and links are still huge driving forces behind ranking in the major search engines. After focusing on getting listed on the major sites (Google, Bing, Yelp, etc) and exhausting the top local business listings sites, shift your focus to hyper local sites for that extra ranking boost. Almost every area has local business listing opportunities.
Let's assume that we are a new flower shop in Peoria, IL and walk through some real examples of where to get your business listed.
- Join the local chamber of commerce. A quick Google search for “peoria chamber of commerce” gets us the Peoria Area Chamber. It looks like it is $315/year to join and the benefits extend beyond a listing in the directory.
- Look for a business directory on the official city website. Google brings me to peoria.com and it turns out they also have business directory where you can list your business for free. There is also www.ci.peoria.il.us, do not stop after you found just one. Go through a few pages to see what else you can find.
- Search around for some local travel information sites. You have seen the commercials -- Pure Michigan, Visit MO, etc. Most tourist information sites have a list activities, nightlife and businesses. Googling “visit peoria” brought me to enjoyillinois.com which is run by the Illinois Office of Tourism. They did not have any obvious ways to list your business, but they may be worth taking the time to email or call to see what kind of options they have available to business owners. They have an official blog that allows for guest bloggers. Put on your writer’s hat and participate!
Also try searching for local nightlife guides. Most nightlife websites that have listings for local bars, clubs and restaurants will allow you to submit your business listing. Searching for “peoria il nightlife” brings some good candidates.
- Check out your local newspaper websites. Many offer business directories, like the Peoria Journal Star offers yellowpages.pjstar.com. Moreover, small newspapers are always looking for stories. A feature in the paper is something you can share on your website, social media and more. Anytime you can create news and content for your business, you win. Peoria is also large enough to have some local TV stations and websites, look up the local major broadcasting affiliates too.
- Try searching for the obvious local city business listings like “peoria businesses”, “peoria yellow pages”, or “peoria business listings.” I was able to find a few more sites like explorepeoria.com all on the first page.
Overall, here is a list of sites I found in just a few minutes of research.
- Chamber of Commerce - peoriachamber.org
- Official City Website - peoria.com
- City Informational site - www.ci.peoria.il.us
- Convention and Visitors Bureau - peoria.org
- Travel Information - explorepeoria.com
- Local Office of Tourism - enjoyillinois.com
- Newspaper Yellow Pages - yellowpages.pjstar.com
- Local Newspaper - pjstar.com
- Local News - cinewsnow.com
- Local News - centralillinoisproud.com
- Nightlife Guide - peorianightout.com