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Don't Be a Local Yokel II – Enhancing Your Yahoo! Local Listing

Carrie Hill
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Last time, I showed you how to update your Google Maps listing to enhance your online presence when users implement geo-targeted search. This time, we're going to walk through the steps needed to enhance your Yahoo Local listing.

Getting Listed in Yahoo Local

Yahoo Local has been around longer than Google Maps, but in reality, the platform setups are very similar. Yahoo has fewer steps to getting your listing set up, and it all begins with searching at Yahoo Local for your business name. If you have a listing, you will see a small link to the right of the address that says: "Edit this Listing."

If you don't have a listing in the Yahoo Local directory, you will see a message indicating you were not found, as shown below.

Once you've determined whether you're adding or editing a listing, the next four steps are basically the same.

  1. Listing Details: This section is where you enter the basic information about your business. Contact information for the listing does not appear in the listing. Make sure you enter a valid email addresses and phone number(s); invalid information could possibly flag your listing for removal, as the search engine must contact you to verify information and/or ownership of the business.

    Location information should pertain to your "storefront." Provide the address you operate from and other contact information that enables you to do business. You can hide your business address from the listing. I advise doing this if you work from home or if you don’t want people knocking on your door looking to buy whatever it is you're selling. You can also choose to have reviews of your business sent to your email address automatically. This is a great avenue for watching your brand online, and I highly recommend checking this box.

    Hours of operation are important if you operate a storefront or even work from your home. Let people know when they can expect to reach you on the phone or receive answers to questions by email.

    Payment and additional information are pretty straightforward. Use the Products and Services Offered to describe what it is you do, your way of doing business, and anything else important for users to know. Put detailed information about your specials and discounts here. It doesn’t hurt to include a good keyword or two in your description and products areas as well.

  2. Category Selection: Yahoo also offers the ability to slate your listing into multiple categories and sub-categories. Choose a Master Category that best describes your business and then use the Sub-Category to narrow that selection further. You can add a number of master and sub-categories.

  3. Preview Your Listing: Yahoo also offers a nice "step-by-step" preview at the end of every step. Here, you can preview the Listing Page and the Details Page as they will look with all the information entered so far. This is great for visualizing how the information is laid out on a page.

    Once you've completed your Category Selection, you can see the final version of your entry, and then submit it to be reviewed and included in the index. Make sure you look at both the listing's Preview and the Details Page. This will help you see the big picture so you can tweak before sending live to the site.

  4. Submit, Security and Enjoy: Once the listings are detailed the way you want them, click submit in the lower right-hand corner, verify the secret code, and agree to terms of service. When you've completed this, you'll receive a confirmation email from Yahoo Local. You can expect it to take a bit of time before the listing is completely updated, but you're on the road to providing current and valuable information to local platform users.

As you can see, updating your Local listings is pretty easy and takes a minimal time investment. Do some queries for your main keyword phrases and visit any directory-type sites, ensuring the information is up-to-date in those places as well. Below is a quick list of the directories I would check after ensuring Google and Yahoo are updated.

Establishing your presence on these local platforms will get you started on a good path toward ensuring an even and accurate distribution of information. Bruce Clay has a Local Search Relationship Chart (pdf) on his Web site that shows how the information in local search engines is gained and passed on which is really useful when deciding where to concentrate your efforts.

There may be a charge for submitting your listing here and there, and most of these platforms will ask you to "enhance" your listing for a fee. That's not entirely necessary, and I almost never pay more for these listings unless I have a specific goal in mind. In any case, if you're paying, you'll want to evaluate the listing somewhat like a directory.


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