21 Jul 2009

Are Your Link Building Efforts Localized?

When’s the last time you checked to see if your site was listed in local search engines? Hopefully it wasn’t long ago. It seems that many online businesses don’t feel like they can benefit from some local search marketing efforts, but you really can! You don’t have to live in big cities like New York or L.A. to work the community for business. Utilizing local search engines, directories, and sites like Twitter will help you grow traffic to your site, while also performing a bit of link building. 

One study shows that in 2008 local search marketing rose by 58%, reaching a whopping 15.7 billion searches for the year. Internet yellow pages are most frequently used, along with online business directories and sites that feed through information from yellow pages (like Google Maps). More and more consumers are using these sites to find products, services, and information they are looking for at the local level.
An important first step to getting localized is to make sure your website is set up to naturally receive localized traffic. Lisa Barone’s article "Small Business SEO: How To Launch That Web site" offers some great advice for onsite efforts. She suggests inserting ‘trust and location cues within your content’. This can be done on your home page, in your about us page, on a press page, and also on a contact us page.
Claiming your listing, or submitting a new listing for your location on local search engines is key. Below is a list of some great local search sites you should have your information listed on:  
Local.Yahoo.com: With over 13 million site visitors per month, Yahoo Local is a great place to get your site listed. Approval for most listings is very quick, about 2-4 business days.
Maps.Google.com: An obvious choice, Google Maps receives almost 40 million site visitors a month. Getting an approved listing will require you to wait a few days for a post card with your verification code, unless you choose to verify your listing on the phone.
local-search-icons1Other sites include:
It’s also a great idea to get listed on local BBB sites, your local chamber of commerce, or make a donation/sponsor a local charity. It’s often not free to submit your information to sites, but you might just get lucky and find some that are. Local directories are another place you might look to place your listing. Just recently Vertical Measures was listed on Local First Arizona and Best of the Web.
Sunday in the Arizona Republic there was an interesting article by Justin Doom regarding Twitter and its uses locally, as well as blogging for local exposure. If you haven’t hopped on the blogging or Twitter bandwagon yet this article might just make you change your mind. Real Estate agent Dru Bloomfield utilizes Twitter for her listings here in the Phoenix Metro area. She has gotten clients from the site, along with Realtor Nick Bastian. Bastian’s blog posts on the recent light rail expansion prompted one Colorado investor to contact him about potentially purchasing $2.5 million in apartment buildings near the expanded track. He also says that about 70% of his business comes from online marketing activities on Twitter and his blog. It really does work!
Using tools like Twilert to get notified when people in your area are looking for the product or service you offer is a great way to stay on top of conversations on Twitter, as well as building up and interacting with your followers. You can also do a simple search at http://Search.Twitter.com anytime to find out who is asking a question you can answer, or looking for a product/service you offer.

Don’t forget about doing a little local search marketing, whether through directories, local search engines, or on social networking sites like Twitter. Try to integrate it into your overall link building campaign so your site can be found through a variety of ways.


  • Mike Jul 23, 2009

    Some good information here, I’ve been getting worried recently that a lot of my links seem to be coming in from US sites and I’m on a US host but my site is targeted to the UK market, hopefully some of this will get me on the right track.

  • Jonathan Bentz Jul 23, 2009

    Didn’t know about Twilert. Gonna have to check that out – sounds like a great tool. Thanks!

  • Kristina Weis Apr 01, 2010

    That's a great list of places to be. I think Google Maps is an incredibly important – I use it all the time on my iPhone to find a nearby restaurant or type of store when I'm out and about.

    I also wanted to point out that you can get a “DoFollow” link from AboutUs too which can help your site in the search engines in general: http://AboutUs.org/ProFollow

  • Jenette Haddow Apr 28, 2011

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