Yahoo Upgrades Local Search

Scott Lambert

Improving the visibility of a business for local customers can require very different tools to those for improving its profile more generally. For some businesses, local customers are the ones who matter most; therefore, it is good news that Yahoo has now upgraded its local search facility and brought it more in line with those offered by competitors.

“When it comes to searching for local content, we know you want to take action,” says Yahoo. “If you’re checking out a restaurant, you want to peruse the menu, see if it’s open, and maybe make a reservation. If you’re looking for a new dentist, you want to know whether the office near you is accepting new patients, and if they take your insurance.” Accordingly, Yahoo has made space for a lot more details, including a description – roughly 70 words in length – telling potential customers what a selected local business is like. There is also room for the full address and telephone number, an email address, and notes on useful things such as whether there is parking available. Businesses are sorted into categories and the exact information they are invited to add varies accordingly.

In addition to the text information in these results, there is a new, larger map that remains present if the user clicks through to view further information such as directions; there is also room for three photos. This means an external view of the premises can be added to make it easier for customers to find their way there, while the other two spaces can be used for internal views, images of welcoming staff, or logos or product shots, depending on the impression the business is trying to create.

The upgrade is designed to work across multiple platforms and should simplify the search experience for users. Most businesses owners setting up their profiles on it should find it fairly intuitive, as it borrows heavily from Google’s local search results set-up. As in that context, what is important is staying focused on why the business should be the first choice for local customers rather than on what is impressive about it more generally. Most local searches are made hours or even minutes before users intend to purchase, so a focus on immediate appeal – through things such as low prices, reference to positive recommendations or ease of access – can make a big impact. Updating a Yahoo profile does not take long and is well worth the effort now that the expanded options are becoming available.

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of BellSouth.net, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

Topics: Local Search

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