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Search Marketers Talk Local Search: Local Search Ranking Factors
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
For small and medium sized businesses, local search can be a critical touch point for their online marketing efforts. Yesterday, the folks over at davidmihm.com released the findings of twenty-seven local search marketers from Canada the US, and Europe who have all shared their opinions and insights in the second edition of the Local Search Ranking Factors.

A questionnaire listing 49 potential factors that affect local search rankings was used, where the participants were to rank each factor on a scale ranging from “very important for ranking well” to “can hurt your ranking/lead to penalty.”

Participants were also asked to rank the importance of specific third-party data providers and sources for customer reviews within the Local Search algorithms.

While we are still going through the data, here are the five most important factors for local search optimization based on the study.
  1. Local Business Listing Address in City of Search - it is simply much easier to rank in the local results if you have an address in the city itself (as opposed to a suburb or smaller community outside a major city).

  2. Citations from Major Providers and IYP Portals - listings in Yellow Pages and related local sites/directories can provide a huge boost in local rankings. Think local search link building.

  3. Associating Local Business Listing with Proper Categories - include relevant keywords in the category and in the title of your listing where possible. Be accurate and be relevant.

  4. General Importance of Claiming Local Business Listing - it helps build trust with your brand with the search engines.

  5. Product/Service Keyword in the Local Business Listing Title - without being spammy, this can help communicate the relevancy of your business to a given service or product offering. Typical this is important for both Google and Yahoo local results.
An interesting study. The entire local search ranking factors can be found here:

http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, May 27, 2009  
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