While our last post advised not to rely solely on a Google Local Business Center listing for web visibility and traffic, it did stress that we believe in its importance for our clients. We feel the same for Yahoo Local and Bing Local. Local search is a fabulous way to gain web visibility for brick and mortar businesses.
So, how does local search work? Google, Yahoo and Bing all offer a local search function. Type in a search term and a locale in the search box and you will usually see a map with several businesses listed next to it. For example, type in “cleaners Miami”. On each of the three search engines you will see a map of Miami at the top of the search results page with local cleaners listed next to it. These local listings are completely separate from the natural listings below them or the pay per click listings above or beside them. These listings provide addresses, phone numbers, links to websites, hours, information about services and products, photos, videos and more. They are a great way to get your business in front of prospects in addition to your website. And best of all . . . they are free.
How do you get a local listing? First you need to set up accounts with the search engines. Once that is done, you can create your listings. While it is possible to do this yourself, you may want to rely on an SEO professional to do this for you. Just like your website needs to incorporate the appropriate search terms in the right places to rank well, so does your local business listing. Local listings can be very competitive. Your SEO professional can help give you the edge you need to be at the top of the pack.
Today’s tip: Local search, when done correctly, is an important Internet marketing tool that should not be overlooked.