In Chapter 2, “Customize Your Approach,” we talked a little bit about the wonders of
local search. Been waiting in line for coffee too long? Pull out your wireless PDA and
search for another cafe in the vicinity. Sitting at home on a Saturday night? Order pizza
and a video directly through the Web (and while you’re there, join a social networking
site!). What’s good for the searcher is even better for the search-savvy local business
owner. If your organization has a brick-and-mortar component and you’d like to use
the search engines to gain walk-in customers, begin tackling local search today.
Local search, such as local.google.com and local.yahoo.com, to name two, is
changing fast as additional searchers and businesses flock to it. So keep a sharp eye out
for new products and procedures. As a general rule, you will want to approach local
search optimization from two angles:
• Finding out which sites are feeding into the local search engine of your choice
and submitting to them
• Creating your own local listing
Here’s how to get started:
Who’s feeding whom?
Local search listings are usually compiled from a variety of
sources, some of which you have control over and some of which you don’t. Some
local searches are fed by partner sites that focus on local listings, such as
. There are a couple of ways you can check to
see which sites are feeding into a search engine’s local listings. First, you can check out
the local search engine’s frequently asked questions (FAQs) or review the Webmaster or
Business Owner information that many of these services publish on their sites. You can
also search for your competitors and see which sites are listed: Your competitor’s actual
site? A review from a content partner? See Figure 8.3 for an example.
Once you know which sources are included in the local search engine of your
choice, you can go to them directly and attempt to get or improve a listing.
Make your own listing
Last we looked, Yahoo! and Google provided easy-to-find links
for business owners to submit their own company data to local search. It’s free or
cheap (“enhanced” fee-based options are available)…and worth it at almost any price,
in our opinion. If local search is important to you, you should make it a priority to cre-
ate your own listing because if the information doesn’t come from you, it will probably
come from someone else who doesn’t have a personal stake in the listing’s accuracy or
success. They may not make it easy—yet—but it
possible for you to exert a little
control over your local listing.
for submittal pages.
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