Most people in the local internet marketing industry will tell you that Google is the undisputed leader in search engines. While that may be true, each of the major search engines—Bing, Yahoo, and Google—have different search algorithms, and some may deliver better results for local businesses than others.
That’s why we were intrigued by recent research conducted by Bright Local, which looked at how each of the three major search engines delivered local search results.
The results showed that Google devoted more of its page-one search results to local, which means that they’re relevant to the searcher’s geographic area. However, because local results occupy so much of Google’s search results pages, large national companies and organizations may be more likely to turn to paid advertising, and can overpower local results in this area. To learn more about Google and how it ranks websites, check out our Google handbook.
As for Bing and Yahoo, these search engines give more weight to non-local companies. Of these two search engines, Yahoo’s search results give more credit to local results.
The results reveal that Google is more likely to deliver local results even when the user didn’t include a geo-search term. That’s because Google uses other methods, such as obtaining the IP address, to determine where the user is located. However, when Yahoo and Bing users include a geographic modifier in their searches (“roofer in Denver,” for example), they found more local search results.
Bing Delivers Best Results for Local Business Websites
When it comes to local business results, Bing beats its two competitors. 32% of Bing’s search results are for local business websites, compared to 18 % for Google and 19 % for Yahoo.
What It Means for Local Businesses
The research shows that local businesses should continue to use service terms, such as “plumber” or “roofer,” as they build their websites. This practice boosts search results for all three search engines.
Yahoo and Google Lead the Way for Long-Tail Search Terms
When it comes to local results for long-tail search terms, , Yahoo and Google beat out Bing. Long-tail search terms are long phrases that people might search for, such as “how to find the best plumber.” For local businesses, this means that it’s best to continue their focus on long-tail search terms, which can include their geographic location as well as the services they provide. Also, people who use long-tail search terms tend to find more accurate search results based on their needs, translating to higher quality leads for your local business.
Turn to Online Marketing Experts for Help
The wealth of search engine data that is now available to marketers can be helpful but also overwhelming at times to local business owners. Thankfully, professionals are available to help. Give us a call if you have any questions or if you would like one of our marketing experts to complete a free website analysis of your business’s site. We can tell you what’s working, what’s not and how we can help.