Google . Bing . Yahoo
Today there are over 10 billion unique searches done each month collectively over Google, Yahoo and the other engines in the United States alone. 20% of Desktop queries have local intent 5% use the city and/or state name 2% use informal terms, like neighborhoods 0.5% use ZIP codes 50%+ of Mobile queries have local intent
Based on Google's market share, we have determined that there are over TWO BILLION unique local searches per month on Google specifically from desktop computers in the United States. We saw Google, Yahoo and Bing, make dramatic shifts in how they represent results and most trends point to local. On top of that data, mobile search is absolutely exploding. Approximately one in five searches is performed from a mobile device. In some places around the world, like Japan, this number is even higher. Mobile searches primarily pull their results from local Search Engines. The potential to attract new customers via Local Search is enormous. The Importance of Local SEO The Importance of Local SEO
Introduction How You Appear in Search Google is constantly updating the design and form factor of their SERP’s (search engine results pages) and with the update codenamed “Venice” Google redesigned the pages to represent local pages within the organic search results along with a review rating and other “rich snippet” information regarding the listings. In this organic search you will see a normal organic result followed by three local results. By optimizing your listing properly you can have multiple results show up within the same SERP.
In this result you will also see that Nanz & Kraft Florists has a “ZAGAT” rating showing as well as a link to their local reviews. The ZAGAT rating is determined by an average of the “stars” reviewers leave when writing a review for your listing. If you receive 10x top star reviews the ZAGAT score will show 30/30, a perfect score. This score highly affects the ranking position of a listing. The ZAGAT score will appear after 10 reviews have been reached on your Google listing. Google will automatically calculate your ZAGAT score and add the rich snippet to your listing. It has been proven that when a ZAGAT score is being represented on a listing’s rich snippets (the microdata that is underneath the title of the listing) that it has a much higher click through rate than any other listing being represented on the SERPs. This means not only would your listing be ranking higher, but also be getting clicked through to more and have more organic visits.
Website: Simply link to your website. If the business has multiple locations it is often a good practice to create individual NAP pages on the website for each individual location and link to those locations in the website field from local listings. This tactic gives a more hypertargeted approach and shows engines that your listing has extra relevance. E-Mail: Fill out this information with an info@, sales@ or other form of contact for the company, whatever makes the most sense. This email should be used universally for all listings.
Categories: Pick as many categories as available that can justifiably correlate to the business. The more optimized categories a listing has the more chance it has to show up under different search criteria. Try to shy away from creating custom categories as much as possible, though it is accepted under certain engines. Google has recently switched from custom categories to fixed categories that need to be optimized as thoroughly as possible. Hours of Operation: Hours of operation have a significant impact over search presence under certain pretenses. Some listings have been known to exclude certain businesses from searches when they are marked as “closed” for that time, or promoted when they are marked as “open” for that time. All listing’s should have the same Hours of Operation information.
Description: A listing’s description will usually show up as a “quote from the owner” or something of that sort. This is a chance to put in the business’s slogan, branding, unique service offering, vital information about the business or use keywords for better search presence. Images: Listing engines will typically give enhanced exposure to listings that have been optimized visually with images, there should be at least one logo image that can act as a “profile image” for the listing followed by other highresolution images. Try to max out the image count, as many as the listing will let you upload.
Videos: Videos, like Images are usually used to visually optimize a listing, and give unique exposure that would not otherwise be present. If the business has any relevant videos, they should be uploaded to any local listing that allows it. Reviews: Reviews are harder to optimize than anything else on a listing seeing as they are user generated and not editable by business owners. This is why a business should always monitor their local listings for new reviews, to flag inappropriate reviews or reviews with conflict of interest (from competitors or things of that nature) and to reach out to people who give negative reviews to try and set things right. Often when a reviewer leaves a negative review on a listing and has been helped significantly and reimbursed for the problem that they negatively posted about they will alter their review or remove it. Negative reviews are one of the most potentially fatal points for any local listing.