Conducting local business searches online have skyrocketed in the last few years, and with mobile devices like Blackberries and iPhones making it a snap to find a restaurant or hotel while on the go, show no signs of slowing down. One of the most popular methods for searching is through Yahoo! Local and having a business listed there gets it in front of plenty of eyes. If you have a business here is an introduction to Yahoo! Local.
Let’s take a closer look at Yahoo! Local…
To appreciate how well Yahoo! Local can work for you, let’s take a closer look and see how it works. The simplest way to access it is to go to www.yahoo.com and click the Local link towards the top of the screen. You can then type in the name of the business or a description in the first box and the address, city, state, or zip code in the second. Then select Local Search to see the results.
When at yahoo.com click Local to search for a local business.
Looking at the results of a search…
You will receive a list of matches along with their addresses, phone numbers and directions. If there are any user reviews, part of one will appear next to the listing. On the upper-right of the page will be a small map of the area showing business locations, which can be enlarged. This larger, detailed map displays every street name and identifies local landmarks to make it simple for customers to plan their route.
Yahoo! Local’s results with business listings.
Looking at a particular listing…
Clicking on a listing will provide information on that business such as pictures or logos, hours of operation, products and services offered, contact email addresses and links to their website. Customers can leave a written review and starred rating, which can provide great feedback and help a listing stand apart from those without them.
Example of a local listing on Yahoo! Local.
Yahoo’s ‘5-pack’ listings….
Sometimes when looking for certain types of businesses, you may run into what is known as the Yahoo ‘5-pack’. It is a grouping of five local businesses tied to the geographic location you are searching in. It works by taking localized keywords, such as ‘Fond du Lac, WI’ and non-localized, like ‘realtors’ and finding the five best listings that fit those criteria. The ‘5-pack’ listings tend to come up more frequently when using the regular search box on the main www.yahoo.com page, but are pulled directly from the local directories. A local listing that’s well designed and well defined is sure to be found more easily regardless of how and where a visitor types in his query on the Yahoo page. The ‘5-pack’ is the Holy Grail to aspire to since they are the most eye-catching to prospective customers.
Screenshot of Yahoo’s 5-Pack when searching for realtors in Fond du Lac, WI.
Putting it all together…
The best listings catch your eye and draw you into finding out more about the company and what they offer. Providing concise, useful information along with a photo or logo and a link to your website is a perfect way to start. Satisfied customers can then return to leave a positive review which will reflect in the listings and help your business stand out even more!
Yahoo! Local has many wonderful features available to make your listing more appealing and is a great tool for reaching potential customers in a professional looking, compelling way. If you haven’t already, you should consider creating a listing or updating your existing one. There’s no cost involved, just a little time and effort, but the rewards are many. Remember, there are customers out there looking for you. Help them find you today!