SEO: Local Search for Local Businesses - dummies

SEO: Local Search for Local Businesses

By Peter Kent

Part of SEO For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you have a business that provides goods and services in a particular location, then Local Search is hugely important to you. Wouldn’t it be great if your business was one of the “pins” in the map at the top of the search results? Here’s how it happens.

  • The “local-search” indexes are separate from the regular “organic” search information. The search engines gather this data from various business-record sources. But you can modify and add to the data, and in fact doing so is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself rank well in local search.

  • In Google, click the More or Reviews links to go to the business page; then, click the Business owner? link at the top of the page.

  • You’ll have to verify that you are the owner of the business (by a code sent to your business phone, or a postcard sent to the location).

  • Add as much data as possible; information about your products and services, pictures, videos, and so on. Use all the important keywords!

  • Do the same for Bing and Yahoo! (Yahoo! gets regular search results from Bing, but manages its own local-search index.)

  • Consider also submitting to a mass-submission service, which will forward your data to scores of other local-search systems.

  • Keep track your reviews, and encourage your customers to submit reviews. The local-search systems often display star ratings in the search results, so having 5 stars can encourage people to click on the link to your information.