Local SEO & Links for Maryland Businesses
I’ve been working on numerous projects recently behind the scenes and would like bring one out in the open today. Given the direction of Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com’s focus on local search, its difficult not to argue that the adaptation of search engines as a tool for finding information on local businesses is a growing trend which is only going to become more popular year in and year out. The advantages that local search has over the traditional Yellow Pages are numerous. Local search services can be accessed via mobile phones, laptops, desktops and mobile devices ranging from the Blackberry to the Sony PSP.
For businesses, local search marketing makes sense, as the pay-per-click or pay-per-call pricing structure is much more flexible than the traditional Yellow Pages system. Even beyond paid local search marketing online are the organic local results, which like ‘traditional’ search engine rankings, local search includes link popularity, citations, references and content into account, along with location to the searcher, while delivering search results.
Back to the Search Engine Journal behind the scenes project, I’m currently working on a very basic, yet useful and content rich local business listings resource for businesses within the State of Maryland. I’m from Maryland and have a lot of pride in my home state, and its businesses.
The project I’m working on is MarylandYellow.com.
I consider MarylandYellow.com to be the first in a series of niche search and business review resources I’ll be working on over the next year and like my other pet projects in SEOdex and Umdum, I’d like to announce the locally targeted site to Search Engine Journal readers before going too public with the project.
Consider MarylandYellow.com an interactive 2.0 Yellow Pages for the Maryland area. Like Yahoo Local, Amazon Business Listings, and Google Local I’ve incorporated some of the basics in local search while keeping the site simple and direct.
Businesses can list their:
* Business Name
* Phone Number(s)
* Web Site(s)
* Clients (if applicable)
* Hours and days of operation
In addition, since MarylandYellow.com is powered by the WordPress blog CMS system, I’ve incorporated some nifty Plug-ins to give it a 2.0 feel, including:
* Yahoo Maps of Business Location
* Customer or Client Reviews
* Business Rating System
MarylandYellow.com is now in BETA mode, meaning there is a lot more to be tested and added to the site, including new businesses and enhancing the search functionality.
However, this is a major project and it will become a Local Authority for Maryland and a very important site for listing your Maryland based business.
Jon Payne covered MarylandYellow.com and some Maryland Directories on his marketing blog:
There are a bunch of regional directories out there – by state, city, etc. etc. In Maryland (which is my place of work and residence) a few notable ones are: