Local Search Engines Benefits
People have a tendency to search for service providers in their own vicinity, say when a Seattle based user searches for computer repair shops he/she will be more interested in results of Seattle based companies rather than computer repair companies in New York.
Keeping this need in mind the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing list the result of top 10 local listings above their organic Universal Search results. The local search results are completely different from the general search results and usually include a map so you can see the various locations on the map associated with the search results. Also, the listings in the local search results do not necessarily have to have a website. In that sense they are more like a phone book listing. The listings include additional information like a description, business hours, contact info, etc.
When the user searches with the city name, search engines list the local business profile, in their area adjacent to an eye-catching map. This helps the user to find the directions and distance of the service provider from their area.
Importance of Local Listing
Experts have now started laying a lot of stress on local listings which appear to rank higher than the even the organic searches. This is because Local Listing boosts visibility in the local areas which increases targeted traffic to websites and helps in the overall search engine ranking, ultimately increasing sales and ROI.
These lists are displayed in popular search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing just beneath the sponsored ads at the top of the page and above the organic searches, with URL, address and contact phone number prominently displayed making it unnecessary for searchers to go any further in their pursuit before contacting the business.
Google also offers a link to reviews in the listing or, if the listing has no reviews, there’s a “more” link to it anyway further enhancing the chance of a local businesses to succeed when competing with more successful rivals far away.
SEO of Local Listing
Local search engines require a different kind of approach towards search engine optimization. The SEO isn’t just targeting specific keywords, but also uses various techniques to tell the search engines where the business is located. It’s still good to use regular SEO techniques to target specific local keywords, but you also want to include other techniques such as:
- Make sure contact information is present in the
- Include your town name in your site’s title tags.
- If you are primarily focused on one town, your keywords should include the town name with the appropriate suffix or prefix that can accurately identify that particular town.
- Focus on on-page strategies like including your business address in the footer of your web pages.
- Submit your business information like working hours, telephone number, address and a unique description into the leading local listing services.
- Submit your site to local search engines like Google Local Business Center, Yahoo! Local Merchant and Ask Business Search.
- Use directory listings like DMOZ, Yahoo! Directory and BOTW
- Submit your site to Internet Yellow Pages like Super Pages, Info Space and Switch Board.
People these days rely more on online search directories/ SEO driven web pages rather than burdensome phone books so it makes good sense to not only appear in local listings but also take care to be SEO equipped.