Earlier I described how to get your business listed for free in local search, both at GetListed.org and in posts on Google Local and Local Online Marketing. Today I explore adding local business listings when you have many locations.
SCORE Chicago has 20 branches where we offer counseling in the Chicago area. To get maximum exposure in search, I want to list them all with Google local and Bing/Yahoo. Here’s what I learned in the process.
Google Local Bulk Uploads
Google’s Local Business Center has instructions on bulk uploads of 10 or more sites to its local business directory. To access features like the bulk upload in these sites, you must first set up a master local business account and log into it. Then prepare an Excel sheet with these headings: store_code, name (60 characters), address_line_1 (80 char), addresss_line_2 (80 char), city (80 char), state, postal_code (80 char), country_code (ISO 3166-1 alpha-2), main phone. Save as tab-delimited plain text (Unicode Text.) Finally upload the file at Google.com/maps and agree to Google’s terms of service.
Google is experimenting with a “whitelist” bulk upload to facilitate the process.
Getting Bulk Listings Verified in Google Local Business Center Instead of verifying local listings individually, Lopaba of SEOmoz.org says, “the whitelist feed beta is beneficial for those clients with a nationwide presence who would like to get all of their locations loaded into the Local Business Center and would like them to be verified without spending weeks on the phone doing so.”
Google Maps Now Offering a Whitelist Bulk Upload Beta for LBC? Local SEO expert Mike Blumenthal calls this “A response to both the need for facilitating bulk updating of listings as well as guaranteeing better control over the quality of listings.” Today, he emails this comment: “The bulk upload whitelisting is still in beta and it is not obvious how to get your business whitelisted. The current bulk upload available in the LBC still requires that you individually verify listings.”
As of this month, Microsoft’s Bing search will be integrated to an unspecified degree with Yahoo search. Here’s local SEO pro Matt McGee speculating on What Micro-Hoo Might Mean for Local Search.
At this time, Bing’s Local Listing Center does NOT appear to have a bulk upload feature. Looks like multiple listings must be added individually.
Yahoo Local also does not allow upload of multiple listings of the same entity. In a phone call to their rep, I learned that they suggest businesses list with the Yellow Pages and other third party providers to use their bulk upload features. (And for a free listing in the Yellow Pages, you must have an ATT phone number.)
What’s Your Experience with Multiple Listings?
Please take a moment and leave me a comment.
Related Posts on Local Online Marketing
This blog’s posts on Local Online Marketing