To get found online you must be visible. Generally speaking, the more places people can find you online the more online visibility you have. Local business online visibility can be quickly translated to “findability”.  The more easily consumers can find you online the more sales you are likely make. Every month, online consumers perform over 3 billion local searches for nearby products and services. Using effective local online marketing strategies to improve your online visibility can make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting found online, attracting new customers and increasing your profitability.

To fully understand the “visibility” concept you need to understand how search engines work. Search engines want to display the most relevant and useful information possible for people using them to find whatever they are looking for. Each search engine has its own formula for returning search results to customers. Any search result returned that is has not been paid for by an advertiser is referred to as organic. Search returns that have been paid for by advertisers are referred to as sponsored and usually are referenced and at the very top or to the right of organic search results.

Improve Your Online Visibility to Get Found Online

Search engines are increasingly returning “local search” results just after sponsored results and before organic results on the front page of results. Local search can be defined as an online search by a user looking for something in a specific geographical area. Local search results are returned by search engines based on not only keywords entered by the user but also the geographic location. Geographic location is translated to name; address and phone number i.e. a local business listing. Search engines obtain this local business listing information from data entered directly into their own databases, data from an external data provider and from data gathered by their spiders that crawl hundreds of online local business directories every month.

Search engines will use this local business listing information to display local search results on search results pages. These business listings are not only geographically specific, but they can also have specific keywords and additional information associated with them. As a result, your overall online visibility and subsequently your online “findability” may be adversely affected if you don’t actively use online directory listings to improve your online visibility.