farmers_market_2539937014_f55ecebf38_bMany businesses aren’t global by definition. Realtors, Chiropractors, Insurance agents, Restaurants, Hair Stylists, and many other local service providers count on local traffic for their business. It used to be very hard for local businesses to compete with global search giants, Pottery Barn would beat out any local furniture store, and what restaurant could compete with Olive Garden. Luckily, the search engines have been working hard to solve the problem of directing local traffic to local businesses. Here’s how to win the local search game.
Post your information on local search engines
The local search engines like often search each other’s indexes and therefore share information. Larger search engines like or also share information through data exchange or syndication. This information gets passed onto larger search engines like Yahoo Local profile and Google Local Business Listings. So start by getting your business or service listed in as many local search engines as you can find (hint: they advertise on local TV stations and Billboards). Most of these listings will be free or a have a very minimal charge. This will cause a trickle up effect to the larger searches.
Other great location specific search engines are,, Marchex’s OpenList Network.

Find a way into the local blogs

Many bloggers focus on a neighborhood like Highlands, or very small region like Northwest Denver. These are great resources for local listings. To find these blogs try a basic search like Denver blog or Littleton Blog.
These are very well indexed by search engines for a specific location because they mention the neighborhood so many times. Businesses that are mentioned or linked in these blogs have a very high relevancy and trust factor in the local search engine rankings.
Local directories
Local directories are also well indexed by search engines and are highly relevant to cities or neighborhoods. The best kind of directories are edited by humans because they tend to have less spam than the free-for-all types. Best of the Web is a great example of a local directory, or you can look to Yahoo’s Regional Directory. Try looking for Denver directory or Colorado directory to find more.

Be ruthless about your profile

Do frequent searches in your area and see what turns up for you. Many directories will allow you to edit your profile, so make sure you have your business name, address, and phone number correct wherever you can find it.
Take some time to carefully craft the description of your service. Use comfortable language and a touch of levity to make your Restaurant or Health Clinic stand out among the other choices. Also, take time to get a professional photograph taken and include in any directories that will let you. People will notice a photo and often choose your smiling face over the no-name service just above you in the rankings.
Local search is a huge growing business. Instead of running a very expensive phone book ad, take a few hours to explore what’s out there in local search, you’ll be amazed at the results.