Is your business listed on LocalEze.com? I hope so: If you run a “local” business in the US, the site can indirectly help or hurt your local search rankings.
On a tight budget and want to list your business for free? You’re out of luck.
As of just this month, LocalEze no longer allows businesses owners to add their listings to the site for free.
I’ve heard this from a couple of people now – including one of my clients and the guys from FireGang– which prompted me to go in and take a look for myself today. I’ve come to the same conclusion.
Apparently, you can still claim your listing for free if it’s already listed on LocalEze (more on this in a minute). It’s just that now you can’t add a listing (for free) that’s not already in the system.
I’m not wild about this change.
As I’ve written on several occasions, LocalEze is a very important site to list your business on if you want to rank well in the local search results – particularly in the Google+Local (AKA Google Places) results. Being listed there and listed accurately is a huge step in making sure your citations are consistent.
I think the paid package is a good deal, but business owners shouldn’t have to fork over just to have basic control of their own business information. Especially given how many other websites LocalEze feeds your business information to.
That’s what I know so far. There are also some things I don’t know at this stage:
- I’m wondering whether LocalEze will remain as important a data-provider, at least as far as Google’s local-search algorithm is concerned. No doubt it will remain important, but the move toward pay-to-play ultimately may mean fewer businesses and less-fresh info in the database – which is the last thing Google (not to mention Apple Maps) needs at the moment.
- If you’ve already got a claimed listing, can you only update it once annually (for free)?
- Will (and should) LocalEze continue to appear in GetListed.org scans?
- What will we be saying a year from now?
What should you do now? At least one of four things:
- Join me in pouring a fohty for the free listings.
- If you’re listed on LocalEze and if you haven’t already claimed your listing, claim your listing while you still can do so for free.
- If you’re not listed and you’re not on a particularly tight budget, consider adding your listing by forking over for the paid package ($297 / year). You can also add and gain control of your listing if you’re on Yext (which I believe is $397 / year for a single-location “small” business).
- If you’re not listed on LocalEze but you are on a restrictive budget, you can still get listed, but it’s going to take some work and patience. You’ll have to list your business on pretty much all the other important directories (AKA “citation sources”). LocalEze “trusts” some of these sites, and if your business is listed on the latter, it will probably be listed on the former after some months. You’d have to list your business on these other third-party sites anyway if you’re serious about your local SEO. The only difference is that now – if you have more patience than money at the moment – you may want to list your business on those sites first, rather than do LocalEze first and wait for it to feed your info to the other sites
Questions? First-hand observations? Not sure which plan of attack might be best in your situation? Leave a comment!