If you’re a company that targets local markets, local searches are the creamer and Splenda in your coffee. Mike and the guys have expounded quite clearly enough about the importance of local search to businesses, Mary has written on how data confusion can affect your rankings in Google Places, and Alex has written a tutorial about how to change your listing in Yahoo Local.

Most of the time, when companies DIY their SEO, they see an opportunity to get listed in a directory somewhere and snap it up, key in their details, then promptly forget about it. You may not realize it but those major directories’ data get picked up by the smaller directories, and that’s one of the ways your presence on the internet spreads.

So you’ve got your company name, address, phone and fax numbers, and website listed in the directory. You probably put in information on the services your company offers, coupons and promos, and if you’re a good company, your clients and friends who found you on the directory wrote a testimonial about their experience with you.

Let’s say you decided to change your phone number or relocated to a different office. You moved but your listing in some of the directories didn’t. You probably changed your Yahoo Local listing but forgot about the rest or couldn’t remember how you ever got there in the first place. Without your login details and the specific site where you registered/listed your company, that listing is going to be mighty hard to trace. Like it or not, however, you’re going to have to track it down and update it with your new address and/or phone number. It’ll be tedious, and difficult, but oh so worth it.

So how do you remember all that data? Start with your basic Excel spreadsheet and always keep your data up-to-date. Every time you add your listing somewhere, note it down – URL, username and password, email address you used, etc. Think of this as your little black book of links. You might also want to take advantage of internet technology and use Google Docs, or save your data up in the clouds like we do. Whichever way you decide to go, keeping your data organized is key. Think of it this way – if you’re the one maintaining the books in your company and you forget to post transactions in your accounting journal for say, three months, you’re going to have a difficult time remembering them, tracing them, and balancing the books.

Too busy to be bothered with doing the dirty stuff? That’s one of the reasons we’re here. Call us and we’ll do that and much more for you.