Deciding which online business listings to manage can be overwhelming. There are so many different directories, local listing pages, and customer review sites, that determining where to focus your attention can seem daunting. While you should ideally manage your business listings in as many places as possible, your time is limited. So, you need to determine which sites are worthwhile and yield the greatest return.

Although Google+, Facebook and Yelp are essential platforms where customers look for businesses, there are a few other sites that are important for local business searches. Below, we’ll focus on Yahoo Local.

The Value Of Yahoo Local Listings For Businesses

Yahoo sources local business information from Yahoo Local listings for local queries on its search engine (i.e. “hair salons near me”). While Yahoo no longer dominates the search engine space – it garners approximately 12% of the market these days – it’s still a large audience to reach and a recent partnership deal with Yelp heightens Yahoo Local’s value as a listing site.

Yahoo Local’s partnership with Yelp means that information from a business’ Yelp page will feed into search results for local businesses. So, Yahoo search results will include ratings, reviews, and user photos from Yelp. Yelp is a tremendously important site for customer reviews, so especially with these partnerships in mind, it makes sense to maintain your business’ listing on Yahoo Local.

Setting Up and Managing a Yahoo Local Listing

Getting started with Yahoo Local is free and only takes a few minutes. A basic account includes one photo and quite a bit of general business information such as location, contact info, website address, and hours of operation. Be sure to include as much pertinent information as possible, such as other languages spoken, methods of payment accepted, products/services available, brands in stock, etc. For additional costs you can set up an enhanced listing allowing you to post up to 10 photos as well as a company tagline and a more detailed business description.

Photos are an important part of listings, and can say a lot about your business. Photos should always represent your business well, and if you only include one photo, be sure to choose one that clearly conveys the essence of your business. Note that the Yahoo and Yelp partnership means that any photos from your Yelp listing will automatically also appear on your Yahoo listing.

Keywords are also an important aspect of your listing, so they should be used in a way that optimizes how you will appear in search results. Be sure to use a targeted keyword in the business description and photo caption.

Managing Reviews On Your Yahoo Local Listing

As with other online listings, Yahoo Local allows customers to comment on and rate the businesses listed there. Although it can be time consuming, it’s important to review and respond to these reviews – particularly negative ones. While bad reviews can be damaging, rectifying the situation can show potential customers that you genuinely care about their satisfaction.

Responding to reviews is also a way to get more information on your page, as your responses will encourage reviewers to try another product or service, or come in for next month’s special deal. Further, more information will make your business look more legitimate to new customers, so they’ll be more likely to try your services.

Local Marketing Mistakes

Is Yahoo Local The Right Platform For Your Business?

Yahoo Local might not be the leader in the local listings space. Google+, Facebook, and Yelp have a majority of control over this domain, but Yahoo Local is still valuable. Especially given recent partnerships with Yelp, Yahoo occupies an interesting niche in the local search market. So once you’ve taken care of the essential platforms, Yahoo Local should be on your list to optimize.