The skill required to get higher ranking in local business listings and maps is called Local Search Engine Optimization and involves a complex formula that one should not try to attempt on their own. The three largest local search engines are listed below in order of audience.

The Most-Used Local Search Engines

  • Google Local Business Center (GLBC)
  • Yahoo! Local
  • MSN Live Search Maps

How to Get High Ranking in Local Search Engines

The simple answer to obtaining high placement in these results is that is there is no simple answer. Unfortunately, there are systems and data validation criteria that a local business must pass before high local rankings can be achieved.

Secret: The local search engines already know about your business, whether you are listed or not.

Why is Local SEO So Complicated?

So why then is it so complicated to do local search engine optimization? Because existing and being a good search result are two completely different animals. Local search engines use dozens, if not hundreds of different sources that influence the ranking. These sources should all validate with the data submitted by the local business seeking placement in the search results.

Additionally, each business niche has a number of directories or authoritative “Web References” that appear (in Google Local Business Center for example) under the Web Sites section of the local business listing. By calculating the frequency of these Web References, one can make an inference on which Web References matter to GLBC and other local search engines.

Then there are local business reviews which also play a role in ranking, but not exclusively. In Organic SEO, the magic formula is Relevancy + Popularity = High Ranking, or in English: Good Content, SEO, and CTR + Quality Inbound Links = High ranking. In Local SEO, however, the formula (in English) is High Frequency Web References + Positive Reviews = High Ranking.

Use a Leading Local SEO Company First

Still want to try this yourself? I didn’t think so.

Try to get your feet wet with a local search engine optimization program that involves trusted data feeds, directory/visibility frequency, and positive user feedback. With thousands of current customers and a formula I’ve seen with my own two eyes, research to find the perfect solution to perfect placement in local search engine results.