One of the largest trends in recent years in terms of user interaction with search engines has been the absolute dominance of local searches. Rather than searching for “Grocery Store”, users have been increasingly incorporating geo-local terms for the most convenient results, hence searching “Grocery Store Orlando” for example. Nowadays, most businesses on the web (depending on the industry, of course) cannot just target specific keywords. One must target that keyword in geographic locations in order to optimize local searches.

One of the best methods to help increase your business’ relevancy in a certain city is through the notion of local listings. These online directories allow a business to post vital information about themselves such as the address, contact information, hours, and a description. While this may seem humdrum to many, it is nonetheless important in establishing your company in a specific area. The more listings you’re on, in other words, the greater relevancy you have to that area and the more likely you are to come up in a local search.

With search engines, the subject of local listings becomes even more important. Take Google Maps for example, the most important local listing directory. A local search on Google will display Map listings as the first several results. For users, this is great because you immediately see where the businesses you are looking for are located and a brief description of each. For a business that is not listed however, this could completely wreck your online advertising strategy.

Furthermore, it’s absolutely vital to have your local listings in-tune with your overall SEO strategy for optimal results. With Google Maps, a business’ categories should be consistent with the highest-returning keywords they are targeting. Of course, several listing sites give you predetermined categories to choose from but it remains important to keep things consistent across the full spectrum of the web.

There’s also the additional organic search benefit to local listings. If someone is searching for your business’ services or industry in your area, local listings are surprisingly high ranking in terms of the search results. Think about it or experiment—how many times does a City Search or Yelp listing appear for a particular service you are searching for?

All of this ultimately makes local listings a necessity in promoting your business on the web. The trend of local searches is not going away and, if anything, is becoming the predominant paradigm of how we, as users, use the web.

Author's Bio: 

Mira Web Services is a web design and internet marketing company based out of Central Florida. We are passionate developers who have been creating websites and establishing web presences essentially since the inception of the internet.

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