Improving Local SEO for Yahoo & Bing

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 05, 2015

With Yahoo and BING growing steadily, small businesses should start adjusting their websites to attract the notice of local search engines. The smallest changes can have the biggest effects, and having a solid Web page appeals to both search engines and customers. Arranging keywords, increasing loading speed, encouraging reviews, and bettering the NAP (business name, address, phone number) all improve page rank and user experience.

Search engines regard only the words of a Web page, and the more keywords, the better. They tell the search engine under what searches a site falls. To better plan keyword usage, Google offers a free Keyword Planner. Other free tools also exist. After downloading a list of keywords (perhaps into Microsoft Excel), editing and filtering should pare the options down to around 35 targeted key words and phrases — a number appropriate for most local-business clients. Take care not to imitate a client in the same business. One suggested filter (filtering by geographic regions [country, state, county, city …]) shows what keyword(s) are in demand according to region. After completing the editing and filtering, categories of similar keywords should evidence themselves, and developing a page per category follows the course of wisdom. Keep the number to at least six, but avoid adding more information to the site than is needed. In the first sentence, use the primary keyword — as close to the front as possible, for the sake of the search engines. Bolding it may also prove useful, not only to the search engine but also to the customer learning the company’s business. Making the dominant keyword prominent in the META also assists the search engine. The META Title, the META Description, and the META Keywords comprise the META, and the prominence of the primary word matters more in the first two. But be concise! The word limits remain severely brief.

Accelerating the loading speed also benefits Internet sites. One way of doing so involves moving excess html code from the header to the footer, giving the search engines less code to read. So, the website shows up sooner. To test loading speed try this tool. The footer can also hold a business’s contact information. That makes it easier for customers to find it and increases the local indexation of the website so local searchers (searchers, not people already on the page) can discover the company oftener.

Potential customers examining a firm will be far more likely to trust it enough to purchase from it if they see plenty of good reviews. So encourage reviewers. Provide a page for people to review the business online and/or email customers for reviews. It really does improve the local SEO.

The more visible and the more consistent the NAP (business name, address, phone number) is, the better. Yahoo, BING, and other search engines cross-reference NAP information across numerous websites in order to test if a company legitimately exists. And search engines being literal, they will not observe that variations of the NAP (for example, using street and state abbreviations one place and not another) refer to a single business. Consistency makes the search engines faster and more accurate, thereby increasing online visibility. Hunting down and correcting NAP inconsistencies may take months, but it makes the difference between being first on the first page of a search or being twelfth on the fourth page. However, achieving such a result means ignoring directives stating, “Your profile 100% complete,” which generally refers to completing only the minimum fields.

To beat the competition, all these things need to be continually repeated, and a business should strive to attain as much online presence and general publicity as possible. That helps page ranking more than anything. Also, keywords, an improved loading speed, reviews, and consistent NAP do no good to a firm unless its website is navigable.