Local Search and Local Business Listings

October 30, 2008 by Matt Hodgson

Search is constantly evolving, from general web search such as the old giants Yahoo, AltaVista and Excite through to the current day of Google.

Not only has search grown out, it has also grown up. Vertical search engines are becoming more and more popular i.e. Expedia - a travel search engine, great for finding travel deals and accommodation and Bizrate.com – a shopping search engine perfect for comparing prices and chasing that bargain. There is now another new search kid on the block,

Local Search! Local search is generally driven by a geographical query and the service required e.g. Starbucks, Los Angeles. Local businesses will benefit from this form of search, this is due to the business having a physical presence e.g. a shop, garage, restaurant or surgery.  

Local business listings have become even more attractive since they are now being returned in the general search results within Google and Yahoo! Thus, a greater chance of driving search traffic to your website!

The red box identifies the Google Maps/Local business listings within natural search results.

Other than having your business submitted and optimized in the local search of Google Yahoo and MSN there are some other optimization elements you can apply to your WebPages to help increase your presence.

- Include your contact details, city name, state and zip/post code in the footer of every page.

- Hyper link the city name, state and zip/post code to the contact us page on your site.

- Include local city information in your contact us page (perhaps a brief bio on your local city / town). Add geographical qualifiers, such as city and state name, to the body of your content. Link the qualifier text through to your contact us page.

Though local search results are now appearing in the “natural” search engine results, how to include and optimize your local business listings is still somewhat of a mystery. Our friends at addme.com have released a great new service, Local Business Listing. Ensuring your listing is professionally optimized, employing back links to your website and correct search terms, they then hand submit to Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Targeted to the correct business types, local business search can be a very cost effective and powerful advertising and promotional tool. Driving more foot traffic through your door and click traffic to your website.

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