Local SEOlé!

August 16th, 2011 by Search Influence Alumni

Dealing with local SEO from an international perspective can be quite the challenge. And, if you haven’t been keeping up with your Rosetta Stone lessons, it can get ugly fast. But here at Search Influence, we love a good challenge.

Mexico Local SEOOur current goal is to improve an international client’s local rankings for their collection of Playa del Carmen hotels and condos. Now, if this would have been a U.S. or Canadian based client, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post, but taking local SEO to the land of the Aztecs and the Mayas certainly added a twist of lime to my typical local cocktail. The local SEO landscape of Mexico hasn’t been as thoroughly developed as it’s other North American neighbors. To give you an idea of how uncharted this territory is, Google Maps is still in beta testing for Mexico. This means there is a good deal of room for error, so you have to make sure to bring your A-game.

First off, a tip for all of my other monolingual buddies out there, learn to love Google Translate. It isn’t 100% accurate, but it makes local SEO in a foreign setting as easy as it can be without being fluent in that particular language.

Another important tip to keep in mind is that, when dealing with international Google Places listings, make sure to actually be in your client’s country’s version of Google. If you try to list an international business while in the U.S. version of Google Maps, Google will think it is a U.S. based location and will malfunction and place the business somewhere in the U.S.

The biggest issue with international business listings is actually finding the directories to list the business in. In some cases, tools like Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder can be really helpful in sourcing new directories. Unfortunately, this tool isn’t currently optimized for use with Mexican businesses. Technically. I managed to finagle it into spitting out a few sources for me, but for the most part, I relied on good old-fashioned research skills. And, lucky for you, I’m willing to share a few of the gems that I have found.


Wowcity is a world-wide city guide that happens to be quite popular in Mexico. While it might not carry as much weight here in the states, all of the business in the keyphrases I was researching had a listing in Wowcity’s business directory. A tip to keep in mind when submitting to this directory is that, even though it might not be clearly stated, a logo and business hours are required in order to get a listing.


OLX is similar to Craigslist and in the States, is often seen as a less-trafficed imitation. But, unlike Craigslist, OLX offers a traditional business directory in addition to the typical grab-bag of classified ads. And luckily, the Mexican version of OLX is pretty straight-forward and plays well with Google Translate.


Tuugo is a “world-wide business to business and customer platform”, which is basically a fancy buzzword for a business directory that caters to businesses and people alike. I will have to say, Tuugo has an impressive list of countries that the service is available in. This will work in your favor because the site has high quality of universal usability and translates well.

So there you have it folks, some muy caliente tips to help you out if you are south-of-the-border and in need of some local love. Be sure to pair them off with a nice cold cerveza and remember not to fill up on the chips and salsa.