Keep It All Straight and Get Started with the Locals: Yahoo Local, Yelp, Google+ Local

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It’s incredibly important to get your business involved in local SEO, but businesses should not stop at just one search engine or one local listing service. If you’re a business owner, creating a presence on all of the different local outlets including Yahoo Local, Bing Local Listings, Yelp, and Google+ Local will only help you gain visibility. However, you have to make sure that you stay organized and are able to manage all of your different accounts. It can be tough to make this happen and understand the differences between the different local options (not to mention how to get started), but once you get the hang of all the differences you will find it easy to differentiate and make the most of your local online authority.

3 Different Online Local Outlets and How They Each Work

Being able to keep track of all the different local SEO options not only helps you stay organized, but it can help some businesses determine where they should put their primary focus.

Below outlines how to get started, the different options you have, optimization tricks, and a few of the benefits for each of the local SEO options small businesses have online today:


sej yelp

  • How to Get Started. You can get started by visiting this link and either unlocking your business or adding a new business. You will then be taken to different screens that ask you to fill in basic information about your business (hours of operation, address, contact information, etc.) and then wait for authorization by the site.
  • Benefits. Yelp is the most beneficial when it comes to the restaurant industry, but other companies are also benefiting from its popularity. Yelp actually serves as its own social network and works well when it comes to making connections and finding businesses through those connections, so the benefits here are endless.
  • Optimization. Every local listing is about reviews, but Yelp is really about reviews. The best way to optimize your listing is to respond to reviews and try and encourage reviews by pushing for check-ins, including the link on your website, etc. You can also offer special deals on your Yelp listing to help foster reviews and visits. You can learn more in detail here.

Google+ Local

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  • How to Get Started. You can visit this link and then choose from one of the following categories: local business or place; product or brand; company, institution, or organization; arts, entertainment, or sports; or other. Each will have it’s own specific questions to create you the best listing possible. Claim your listing if it already exists or create something new with your basic information.
  • Benefits. Some Google+ local information such as a ZAGAT score will actually appear in search results on a SERP. The reviews here are more than just 5 stars and comments. While you can still comment, Google+ gives you the option of rating certain aspects of a business (usually restaurants) such as appeal, facilities, and service.
  • Optimization. Become an active member on Google+ in general and start putting customers or those in your audience in your Google+ circles to help build visibility. This will not only help your local listing, but your overall Google+ brand. I also recommend checking out their “Getting Started Guide” to help you get into more advanced optimization.

Yahoo Local

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  • Options. You have the choice of a basic listing which includes your basic contact information, one photo, and descriptions of your products/services or an enhanced listing with will give you a tagline, up to 10 photos, and a detailed business description. Enhanced listings are $9.95 per month.
  • How to Get Started. Visit this link and click “sign up.” Once you click this big yellow button, you will need to sign in with either your Yahoo ID, Facebook account, or Google account. Answer the basic information for the account (your name and information bout your company such as address and content information) and then answer more specific information such as your hours of operation. Hit “Verify” and wait for your page to be verified by officials in a few days, and you’re set to go! It’s as easy as that.

Extra Tip: The new Facebook Graph Search is putting a focus on searching for local businesses in relation to friend preferences, location, etc., so it’s important to begin gaining a presence on Facebook as a part of your new local strategy.

Which local services do you like best? Have you found that being active and optimizing your presence on all of these sites has helped improve your overall local strategy? Let us know your story and tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo Credit:

Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestro

Online Content Editor/Writer at HigherVisibility
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility, a... Read Full Bio
Amanda DiSilvestro
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  • Now yelp is showing following message
    “Oops, Yelp is overworked right now.”

  • These are the foundations to Local SEO. It is important to note to make sure these on these site you fill out your profile 100%. I can’t tell you how many business owners we see you have just created a profile and that is it.

    • GREAT comment. I’ve noticed this as well, and there is a chance this can hurt your business more than not being involved at all. You don’t want potential customers to find your profile and realize it’s not at all up to date or filled out because that looks like you’re a company that doesn’t have it together (at least that’s what I typically think first) .Thanks for reading!

      • Agreed! A fully completed profile must give visitors all of the info they seek! Or they’ll get frustrated looking for it and go to the next competitors that does give full information.

  • High activity on these outlets is definitely key. Yelp was usually seen first when someone is searching for, “name of business review,” but G+ is beginning to have more prominent placement on Google (gee, I wonder why?). Yahoo/Bing Local still have a ways to go to catch up to G+, but with the Google converted Mayer heading up Yahoo now, I’m sure we’ll be seeing some new features on the way soon!

    • Absolutely agree. Being active is necessary to success, and even though Google+ might be the front runner right now, the others still have their place. Thanks for reading!

  • Brad


    Do you have any recommendations for handling these local directories when you manage up to 1000 listings for your brand? I am looking for tips and best practices to manage all of my satellite locations individually, but in bulk that take advantage of each unique channel.

    • Hi Brad! Sorry this response is so late–I found it in my unread mail so I must have been saving it for later. Anyways, this isn’t exactly my expertise, but I can try to do some research and write an article on it. When I do I will come back here and let you know I promise!

      In the meantime, does anyone have any advice for Brad?

  • Great articles on how important it is to have a fully completed Yelp! profile. It’s also important to stay active and response to consumers on Yelp! Brands and businesses should make sure they are creating a dialogue on Yelp! to build brand loyalty and integrity. A best practice to engage customers on Yelp could include to respond directly to negative reviews. That way business owners can acknowledge the customers’ thoughts and learn new ways to improve their business. Businesses should also thank happy customers who leave positive reviews. Appreciate positive feedback and invite them back to your business again!