• http://themarketingfrenzy.com/ M.F.

    Very true. In addition, businesses that have positive reviews receive higher ranking on many of the local searches. So businesses with good products and customer service will be rewarded. Local searches is going to be very important for all SEO experts.

  • http://www.nigelkay.ca Nigel Kay

    Great Post. Local Search is becoming more important now that it dominates the results above the fold for geo-targeted searches ( “Location” modifier before or after keyword) as well as major local business categories without location modifiers.

    Citations and reviews are the main driving factors behind getting to the top of the Local Maps results. To add to this article, A citation is just your name address and phone number (NAP) listed on a webpage online. One trick I have used to easily drive more citations to my local clients is to add their name, address, and phone number at the footer of all their website’s pages. I then use the WhiteSpark Citation finder which is a great tool to save time. If you want to learn more i would recommend reading David Mihm’s blog on Local Search. http://www.davidmihm.com/

  • http://www.nickeubanks.com Nick Eubanks

    This is a great post. I recently found a really cool local SEO citation finder application built by the bright guys over at Whitespark, it’s definitely worth checking out. http://www.whitespark.ca/local-citation-finder/

  • http://www.technooyster.com Amol Gavali

    very very informative article erin, its like i was waiting for something like this……. we have many small clients in INDIA who makes more conversion by local listing than their normal listing.

  • Chris

    Great points on bringing actionable info to the evolving social local search landscape. Good list too.

    Nigel, great idea on the footer NAP info!

  • Pastizzi

    I did a small research on Google Places listings in the Czech Republic as a part of my master thesis and found out that the positive reviews do not have impact on the Google Places listings order – I think it makes sense as that prevents businesses from making fake negative reviews to their competitors.

    Another point – the consistency of the phone number across the internet is very important as well.

  • http://davidmichaelangelosilva.wordpress.com/ David M. Silva

    Too bad this blog post wasn’t local friendly. Most of the recommended sites are only available to U.S. businesses. Us Canadians are left out in the cold once again . . .

  • http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow

    Hi-

    With all due respect, please do not cite eye-tracking study as positive “evidence” to support your point of view, as that eye-tracking study was not conducted properly (not enough participants).

    http://searchengineland.com/eyetracking-seo-fad-fact-or-fiction-98799

    Since you cited that improperly conducted study, my immediate reaction, as a usability professional, was to discount your point of view. You don’t need that sort of reaction for credibility purposes. (Sorry SEL readers…I am a stickler for properly conducted usability tests.)

    Sometimes, usability is about overlooking the obvious. If the majority of a screen (in this case, a SERP) is comprised of local listings and graphic images are used judiciously to highlight those listings, AND the searcher clearly shows local intent, then it does add up to…well…the obvious.

    Good point Mr. Silva made about this being a US-centric article.

  • Herb Wolfe

    As someone that is just learning about internet marketing, I would like to make a suggestion. Parenthetical phrases can be used to quickly define the term or abbreviations, so as not to lose the reader. This may also be helpful to those already familiar with the term, but unsure of your intended use.

    Just some friendly advice.

    Great article. Although, I had to Google several terms just to keep up.

  • http://www.seo-translator.com Ramon Somoza

    Interesting post. The only criticism I have is that it is too “US-oriented”. For example, most of the aggregators are worthless outside the US… But the more generic advice does apply….

  • http://www.adviceinteractivegroup.com becole

    You can also use http://www.localsearchtool.org to check your local visibility. It shows everything you need to fix your local presence on the web. Try it out. it’s free.

  • http://newevolutiondesigns.com Tom

    Useful list of directories!

  • http://www.thebingoonline.com/ TBO

    it is a useful information I was thinking to add pages on the basis of city and state name on my website so that when some body in that state or city is searching for a bingo sites my site should come on top …what do you suggest it will help me alot..

  • http://www.eBizROI.com E.R.

    Great post Erin and Happy New Year! It is hard to undersate the importance of businesses claiming their Google Places listing. Local is becoming more important as Google attaches local intent to more searches where the 7-pack dominates the SERPs. Your points are dead on and the list of places to get profiles/listings on is a great starting point to get citations which are now more critical than ever. If businesses don’t have the time or internal reesources to perform these tasks, they should strongly consider hiring an agency or risk getting left behind. Broad smartphone and tablet adoption will accelerate local search importance. For new websites, the following information from SEOMoz is particularly helpful/relevant: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/an-seo-checklist-for-new-sites-whiteboard-friday .

  • http://www.debi-z.com Aviva B

    Non-US businesses don’t just have issues finding source citations; sometimes they have issues claiming their page. Even in Canada, I think it’s relatively easy to claim a Place Page as the owner. In some countries Google hasn’t enabled that yet, so you as business owner can find Place Pages that have been created for you – but can’t access or edit them. I wrote a blog post a while back about an experience we had with our client on this issue and how it recently resolved. http://www.debi-z.com/2011/06/20/how-do-i-claim-my-business-on-google/ (Start reading from the middle for these local non-US issues.)

  • http://www.elemenoweb.com E.D.

    Local search is definitely becoming more important. With our own mobile technology with us everywhere we go if you are not listing your business in these key locations you are missing out on potential business. It is amazing how it can sometimes be a challenge to get a business owner to realize this and get established in the local world. Those who wait will lose the race!

  • tammy

    Whitespark is an excellent resource. Thank you for letting me know about this! You just made my life so much easier!