Getting Listed in Google and Yahoo Local Searches
Anna Kaiser, Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.
You may have noticed that Google and Yahoo are both displaying local results in top premium positions for many searches that include a city name or a zip code. For example, if you search for “Denver hotel” in Google, you will see the local results appear just below the first two sponsored ads and above the organic search results. You can also search exclusively in the local results by clicking on the Local tab at the top of both Yahoo and Google. Ask Jeeves, AOL, and MSN are a few other search engines that are using or testing their local listings now.
Why should your web site be listed in local listings? According to The Kelsey Group, “70 percent of US households now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services. Findings also suggest the Internet is poised to surpass newspapers as a local shopping information resource.”
If you need another reason to sign up for these local listings, they’re free!
To improve your chances of being listed, you should also try subscribing to online Yellow Pages as well. Verizon’s Super Pages and Yahoo Yellow Pages are two examples of these online resources. Your promotion account manager has a full list of online Yellow Pages and will help you find the ones to be listed in.
We’ve also seen some success for new businesses listed directly at Yahoo and Google Local. You can find more information and list directly in Yahoo at http://listings.local.yahoo.com and Google at https://www.google.com/local/add/login.
How does a web site get to the top of local listings? Just as in all free listings, submission will not guarantee top placement in your category. In order to optimize your listing for local searches, it is crucial to have a relevant web site with your street address and other contact information on every page. This will help search engines to determine your locality no matter what pages they spider.
Other factors that determine the order in which these local listings appear are your business’s geographic location relative to the center of the city, your ranking in free search engines, and your web site’s page title.
So what are you waiting for? These local listings aren’t going to remain free forever. Go to Google and Yahoo and search through the local listings to see if you are already listed. If not, contact your promotion account manager to see what you can do to improve your presence on these increasingly important resources.