Local Search Tips

- September 22, 2008

Local search is now one of the most important aspects of search.   People are turning to their laptops and mobile phones to look for a local business, service or even restaurant.   Here are some tips to help you optimize your site for better placement in the Google Local Box.


Title Tag – Business Name, Location
When optimizing your website it is very important to utilize your title tags.   Many times people neglect this tag, which can be detrimental to the website.   Title tags can be a factor in determining relevance to the local search map.   To give your site a better opportunity of being displayed in the map, utilize geographic terms and specific service types.   Example:   If you are a plumber in Boca Raton Florida, it would be better to use Boca Raton Florida Plumber as your title tag, as opposed to your official company name.   People may not know your company name, but they do know they need a plumber in Boca Raton and that is what they will search for.   This gives the search engines and the users a better idea of what you do and where you are based. Focus on your business type and the location for title tags

Text Based Contact and Address Information
Having your address located on your pages gives the page more relevance, or weight when linking to a page on your site from your local listing.   Search engines see this as consistent information and can reward you by giving you a boost in the results.   It is also a good idea to place a phone number on each page.   Not only with this help with the local results, but it turns each page into a conversion point.   A user can get the information they need to contact you from any page
Submit to Local Directories
Local.com, Yelp.com and Yellowpages.com are good places to submit your site.   These local sites are highly searched; user friendly and offer mobile applications so people can look up information from their cell phones.   Another benefit to listing in local search directories is that the major search engines will use data from these directories to give more weight to their own listings.

Don’t Spam
While this is not really a tip it is something you should obviously NOT do.   Google has just released guidelines for how to go about promoting your local listings.   It seems that many people out there have been taking advantage of these listings, and Google wants to keep it fair for everyone.   For more information please read Google’s official Local guidelines.

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