This post may be part-one of a series, but I’ve received a few email inquries lately regarding local search, mostly questions on how to benefit from Google Maps and Yahoo Local listings.
It’s in good timing. Andrew Goodman from Traffick.com provides a great post regarding the status and possible decline of pure-play local search sites outside of search engines like Google.
The winner could easily be you, the local business owner. The basics of local search can arguably be narrowed down to Google Maps and Yahoo Local and much of it doesn’t cost you anything but your time. Here are some basic tips to benefit from these opportunities:
3) Provide accurate information regarding products or services provided, payment methods, hours of operation, and more (there are easy field forms for most of these).
4) They both allow you to upload and display photos. Hint – sometimes just a simple business logo does wonders.
5) They both allow you to describe your business in up to “x” characters.
Keyword stuffing = bad and silly looking. Accurate information = good and builds trust.
6) They both allow user reviews for your business. Embrace it. It can create an online version of Word-of-Mouth marketing.
7) Don’t provide fake user reviews. Users are smart and will easily sniff it out, and they will make a point to not buy from you. This happens all too often.
8 ) Read number 7 again. 😉
9) Make sure any industry portals or Internet yellow pages display your current and accurate addresses and other information. Local search engines may use this in their own listings.
That’s it for the basics. More to come soon on some of the points listed above.
Jan. 23 Update: Revised and updated post now up at Search Engine Guide.