Local Search 101, Part 2

As a quick follow up to “Local Search 101, Part 1,” I’d like to add that there’s a growing list of sites to get listed on. Keith Hagen, who commented on the article, posted this link to his site that keeps a list of local search engines and directories. It’s a good idea to check this list for more providers to get listed on, as the list will continue growing.

More Local Search Tactics

When it comes to local search SEO, it’s important to study your competition and find out where they have local link groupings. A local link grouping is a page on the Internet where all, or most of, your competitors get incoming links. Then focus on bundling your site into that grouping of local links.

Address citations are another way to build the quantity of references around your site. These references should contain a variation of your business name, address, phone, and Web site. Video is another factor you should consider, both as a good content and as a citation. Having a thumbnail and a local listing on the same search result will really help drive traffic.

Local Search Industry on Twitter

Do you use Twitter? If not, you should consider it. One nice thing about Twitter is that it gives you the ability to follow anyone who has set up an account and is posting mini articles, 140 characters or less (sometimes called microblogging). If you’re looking for a great site with a growing list of Twitter profiles that you can follow if you want to keep up with people or companies who are talking about local search, check out Matt McGee’s The List: Local Search Industry on Twitter.

While we’re on the subject of social media, it’s a good idea to not only link your corresponding location page to your Web site, but also your Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter page. These are just some of the ways to leverage social media for local SEO.

Mobile Search on the Rise

While traveling, have you ever found yourself needing to find a local restaurant or something specific at a store nearby? What do you do? Pick up your mobile phone and start searching for stores that are nearby that have what you want, right?

Well, that’s mobile search. It’s that simple. You aren’t concerned about which Web pages have the best links, PageRank or SEO.

Do you see the close correlation between mobile and local? This is a marketing vehicle you can’t ignore if you’re optimizing for local search.

The Kelsey Group recently published statistics on U.S. Mobile Local Search, which was also covered by ClickZ’s Enid Burns in “U.S. Mobile Ad Revenue to Grow Significantly through 2013″:

  • The percentage of mobile searches that have local intent will increase from 28 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2013.
  • There are 54.5 million mobile Internet users in the United States, representing 25 percent of online users.
  • Approximately 15 percent of iPhone applications are local.

As this industry grows, you’ll probably see more tools and applications that will help users search locally, especially for the iPhone. Google is also a major factor with Google Mobile and Google Mobile Ads. These are all great resources and tools for businesses that need to be found locally.

Join us for Search Engine Strategies New York March 23-27 at the Hilton New York. The only major search marketing conference and expo on the East Coast, SES New York will be packed with more than 70 sessions, plus more than 150 exhibitors, networking events, parties, and training days.

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