Local listings can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you are taking advantage of geo-targeted SEO then it is your best friend and you will find that you have strong rankings. If you have been putting it off or are only dabbling in local listings you may be noticing your competition enjoying a visible edge over you.
More and more users are taking advantage of local search, and you cannot afford to not have your best foot forward when they do. Local searches are they type that will often yield an immediate result – whether you physically notice it or not. For example, let’s pretend that there are two seafood restaurants across the street from each other. They have the same basic menu and pricing. One is making a serious concerted effort to maximize local listings – the other has a few reviews that are a bit non-specific.
As you would guess, the odds are that the restaurant with a strong web presence is doing more business. When local users look for a seafood restaurant online, they are finding the one that has made them self easy to be found. The other lags along picking up stray traffic – and real customers – here and there. Considering that, here are a few things to stress when working on getting serious about your local listings – the options are many, and choosing the right ones can make all the difference.
Google maps listings are not only good to have, they are nearly essential. The key is making sure that the listing they have for you is accurate and up to date, otherwise it is no good to you or the user. Make sure you have a process in place to take care of updating your informationin case you have any additions or changes to your business information. A Google Local Business center verified listing is the best option to go with because it increases your credibility.
Yahoo Local is designed to provide users with quick access to relevant physical business information, but not whole lot else. They don’t smile too kindly on using keywords in the name of the business unless the word is associated with the actual proper name of the business. The best thing to do is to get the relevant keywords for your business out in your local business description that accompanies the header.
Google search results are primarily based on relevance, which means that Google Maps listings are ranked based on their relevance to the search terms entered. Along with geographic distance and other factors, the rankings are complete. Local listings normally only appear during geo-designated searches (e.g., veterinarian, Seattle). Google does track the IP address on computers, so if you enter in a general search (e.g., veterinarians), Google may bring up results for your location, or wherever your IP address is located (this feature can be disabled by users).