While Yahoo may have fallen behind Google and Bing in the competition for general search traffic, their roots in traditional online directories have provided them with a reputation for providing valuable local content. Yahoo’s local listings center makes it extremely easy for business owners to create and manage their listing from a intuitively designed dashboard, and having an updated listing posted under the right categories will attract targeted traffic that your competitors are missing out on. However, Yahoo does not provide business’s with as many free features as the other major search engines, so you will need to pay close attention to the details in order to earn a high placement in their local search results.

The first step to promoting your business on Yahoo! Local is to visit their local listing center and create an account. Yahoo now offers business owners to sign in using either a Yahoo, Google or Facebook account. Once your logged in, you will immediately be directed to an online form requesting all of the information that you want to provide on your local Yahoo listing. As long as you have all of your practice’s information on hand, you should be able to create a new local listing account from scratch within just a few minutes.

Before going on to the next screen, spend a moment or two making sure that you are getting as much as possible out of the limited options that Yahoo provides for customizing a basic listing. As with Google and Bing, providing Yahoo with a local telephone number including area code is believed to improve your placement in local search results. Try to include as much relevant information as possible in the optional fields named “Services,” “Brands,” and “Professional Organizations.” Since the information that you provide in these areas will come up exactly as written when visitors select your listing, use some basic marketing language to explain who you are and what you do. If your practice has been in business for some time, complete the “Years in Operation” to let potential clients know that you are a well-established firm.

Once you are satisfied with the preview of your listing and have clicked continue, you will be prompted to select the relevant category and subcategory for you practice. This is where many businesses drop the ball in local search marketing, so be sure to take your time and find the right categories for you business. Although the directions do not explicitly state it, you are allowed to select up to five different categories and subcategories. The more relevant categories you can find for your business will make it much easier for potential clients to reach your listing, and you should be able to find four of five categories that apply to you if you look hard enough.

After you are finished selecting your categories, you will prompted to review your completed listing before submitting it to Yahoo. If every appears to be in order, review the terms of use policy and submit your account profile. You can expect your practice’s listing to be approved in three to five business days and can track the progress of your order on Yahoo’s local listing center.