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Is Your Website Local-Friendly?
More and more, people are using search engines to find products and services in their hometowns in favor of old-school methods, like the phone book. Are you taking advantage of this fact by structuring your website so that when someone performs a search for a local business, yours is showing up? Below are a few tips for making your site local-friendly so you show up in the search results.

The first thing you should do is include geographical information by listing your business’s address and including a map. You also can add directions to your company and list the names of the communities and neighborhoods you service. It is also helpful to research local terms with Google’s Adwords tool to determine the best localized phrases to use in your site. Geo meta tags are also a great way to structure your site to show up for local search queries. These tags go into your website’s heading section and list the latitude and longitude of your business, as well as the city, state and country where you are located. Although Google currently ignores these tags, Bing uses them to help determine a business’s location, so you will want to incorporate them.

Your links’ anchor text is another area in which you can format your site for localized search. For both your internal and external links, you should be putting in local keywords rather than just your company name. Optimizing your anchor text with your location is a very simple and effective way to broadcast your location to both human users and the search engine robots.

Another great way to make your site more localized is to create a blog and create a calendar of local events around town. Even if you don’t think the nature of your business would warrant such formats, with a little creativity and research, you will be able to tie them into your particular area of specialty. You also should consider forming strategic partnerships with other businesses in the area that serve the same market, as they can be a great source for local content. You should also be involving your customers into your site’s content, perhaps by soliciting feedback or creating “success story” videos spotlighting the local nature of your customers.

Since local search is continuing to grow in popularity, you don’t want to put off making these simple changes to your website. You need to make sure you are doing everything you can to make your website extremely visible in the local search vertical so you can get the traffic you need to be profitable. Make the changes bit by bit over time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and, soon, you should see a big improvement in your findability.

Google Local Business Center


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