Earlier this week I wrote an article about using Yelp to help market your brick and mortar business. The next day, I had an email from a reader asking if I knew what the most popular local search terms was. I'm thinking that the same reader either emailed Matt McGee, or Matt really does have a tap on my account because he's put together a fantastic post on the subject.
It all started when Matt decided to compile a list of the most popular local search terms.
I chose four big U.S. cities, four mid-sized cities, and three small cities — 11 cities in all. I used Keyword Discovery and searched for the 11 city names, with no modifiers. I grouped similar results in each city, and the data proved my original premise — that there's a lot more variety in local search than we might think. "New York car insurance" is substantially more popular as a search term than "New York restaurants," for example.
What's interesting about the lists he compiled isn't so much that more people want to insure their cars than find a good place to eat, it's that free classified site Craigslist topped the searches at most major cities. For example, check out his results from New York and Chicago.
new york hotels (34,349)
craigslist new york (28,927)
new york car insurance (20,493)
new york city tours (5,216)
cheap flights to new york (4,942)
craigslist chicago (28,769)
chicago hotels (18,673)
chicago jobs (9,036)
chicago museums (7,873)
Very interesting indeed.
On the other hand, it matches up with the local search results I've been seeing lately. It's long been noticed that sites like Amazon and eBay tend to rank incredibly well when it comes to product searches. These days, it's becoming increasingly common to see local information aggregators like Yahoo Travel, Yelp and Craiglist topping the search results as well.
What these search results tell me is that consumers are noticing the same trend. They are quickly realizing that these sites are often a better source of local information than standard search results at engines like Google, Yahoo and Ask.
This is why it's increasingly important to make sure that if you own a brick and mortar store, you aren't spending all your time focusing on pure organic results and missing the opportunity of having optimized content on these resource sites.
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