Online marketing campaigns are typically heavy on general search engine optimization. They will include usage of keywords, backlink strategies, and on-page SEO. However, there is an even more important aspect of search engine optimization: local search engines. So, instead of you going out to the major search engines in an attempt to find great local SEO sites to link to, here is a list of the top local search engines out there that you need to know about.
- Yelp — As one of the largest local search engines to date, this is an outstanding site for you to link to. From user reviews to a full social network, Yelp boasts 31 million unique visitors each month. The one downfall (or benefit depending on how you look at it) is that you have to become a member to submit your business listing.
- CitySearch – As a direct competitor to Yelp, CitySearch is another great local search engine for you to utilize. Along with the ability to list your business via categories, there is a social networking factor where locals can vote on their favorite businesses per major category.
- MerchantCircle — The best (in my opinion) local search engine for smaller businesses. One of the cool features this site provides is the quarterly Merchant Confidence Index (which is actually used by several nationally recognize media outlets). The site combines the features of Yelp and CitySearch with the social networking capabilities of LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Local.com — With over 16 million businesses listed, local.com has become a fantastic local search engine. A great feature of this site is the keyword DNA which better groups related businesses for each search inquiry. Similar to other local search engine sites, you can send the listing to a mobile device as well.
- AllPages — A more basic local search engine that has a very simple design without the layout bells and whistles. It does, however, boast a tremendous number of business listings throughout the directories. The one downfall with this site is that it is difficult for visitors to find your business quickly as it is structured as a directory.
- InsiderPages — One of my favorite local search sites as it includes everything that we have talked about thus far, but it also has one of the most user friendly layouts available. Another great aspect of this site is the ability to utilize your Facebook account as a login.
- MagicYellow — The new yellow pages of the internet. Similar to AllPages, this site has a basic layout, but it is significantly easier to navigate than AllPages. This is also a huge source of online traffic for a significant number of businesses to jump on the bandwagon and list your business.
- SuperPages — By far, the cleanest local search site. It is, however, a little difficult for users to navigate if they aren’t familiar. But, don’t let that detour you from gaining a link for your business since they drive more than 7 million unique visitors each month.
- TrueLocal — A local search site that takes a piece of Bing’s simplicity theory. The home page is made up of two search boxes (one for category and the other for the city/town). Overall, though, it is a phenomenal site to link to for your business.
For the most part, it is extremely simple for you to list your business throughout these major local search engines; not only will it help your local search ratings, but it will also significantly increase your online reputation and presence.