Part 5 – Streamline Your Workflow as a Local Search Entreprenuer

by on December 19, 2011 · 1 comment

Streamline Workflow

The intent of the fifth post in this series on becoming a local search entrepreneur is to help organize a workflow in order to finish the website. This process can be tedious but once its completed, updates will be less involved year after year.

The faster content is live on the site the quicker SEO will begin working to your advantage. So far we have touched on how to select a niche and domain name that will respond to SEO. Below I have broken down the key milestones with creating these sites. If you missed the last post we talked about building the site using the SmallBiz Theme.

For those of you joining now here is a link to all of the posts so far.

Basic Layout

Designing the basic layout of the site is the first step. The SmallBiz theme and example websites I have built should provide a sound idea of a good layout. The SmallBiz Theme will offer a number of tutorials for creating the site and getting started. There are five additional steps to follow that will usually take about one work day to complete. Here are two examples of local listing websites built on the SmallBiz theme: and

Step One – Gather Listing Information

The first step is to gather all the business information you need to list on the website. Each business will have its own page, the page will be optimized and, if you choose, each business will have a PDF download (for menus or a promotional item), or content on the site page.

To find local business information I have found Google Maps is the best, backed up by your own understanding of the area. The positives about Google Maps are that you can see where the business is located and make a decision if it is within the area your website targets. I like to collect the following info and log all the data in excel.

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Link to Google Place Page
  • Website
  • PDF Menu / Coupon / Additional Materials

Step Two – Creating Listing Pages

The next step is to create a post on your website for each business and classify the business into the proper categories. Make sure to build your web pages as posts, this way they can be categorized correctly in WordPress.

My recommendation is to try and find some type of material to be viewed in addition to the basic information, ideally a special promotion / coupon, or in the cases of restaurants, a menu. This way you can track downloads and take this info to the business when soliciting for sales. I recommend using Nitro PDF Software to manage, create, and edit PDF documents.

Step Three – Pickup Materials / Add Content

Chances are you will need to physically go to many businesses in order to pick up a menu or promotional material for their listing. In this case I like to use the opportunity to drop off a document introducing the site and remind businesses that they should check their listing for correctness.

If you are at the business it’s never a bad idea to ask for the manager or individual in charge of advertising and make a good first impression, jot down the name for future reference as well. For some types of listing sites you can pretty much do this type of work over the phone or internet.

Step Four – Fill In Advertising Spots

By this point you will have a very presentable website with complete business listings and promotional or additional content per listing. While optional, until an ad sale is made I think it’s a good idea to fill the advertising spots with spoof ads. This gives the impression while you’re soliciting for sales other businesses are already taking advantage of the opportunity you offer.

In addition, spoof ads open the door to track how often visitors click on the homepage ads and view the PDF coupons. If a restaurant offers online ordering you should link to that page so that it can be captured how much revenue your site is generating (This requires an extra step with Google Analytics).

Step Five – Monitoring Traffic & Google Analytics

Google Analytics should be installed once your website design is complete. The SmallBiz Theme will make it very easy to complete this step. Get to know Google Analytics and monitor the progress of the website’s traffic after all the listings are entered. It’s helpful to start creating a traffic monitoring document that presents data in an easy to understand manner so that you can use this data as a sales material. Once an upward trend is noticed and rankings have been established, it’s a green light to begin soliciting for sales. The next post will discuss basic SEO tasks that have been proven to impact local website rankings. The finale post in this series will discuss tips for soliciting sales.

Using the SmallBiz Theme for Local Websites

This series shares advice related to all aspects of building local listing websites including sales, choosing a niche and web design. I build my sites on WordPress and recently switched to the using the SmallBiz Theme for these types of sites because of the speed at which I’m able to launch a quality site that is supported with help forums and a platform that is search engine friendly.

Go here to visit my site example for Ballston Restaurants and Ballston Hotels

About Jeff

Jeff Howard has delivered SEO results for major consumer oriented websites all the way down to local businesses and writes a column for Search Engine Guide.

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Jeff has written 21 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

US Local Business April 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you have done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Chrome. Exceptional Blog!


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