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May 15, 2009

SEO for Local Businesses

Want your local business to thrive online? There is an abundance of information about how to target local search terms and become an online leader in your local area and niche but it’s easy to experience information overload with all the advice that’s available out there. Here are the 5 essential components of local search that will help you rank and dominate in your local market.

1. Add Geographical Information to Your Page Titles

Make sure to use both your target keyword term and location name in your page titles. This allows search engines to determine easily what your site is about and search engine users are more likely to click on your site if it contains relevant geographical information and keywords.

2. Get Your Business Listed on Prominent Websites Directories

Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and MSN Live Local are all websites where you can have your business listed in order to make it easier for potential customers to find you. By claiming ownership of your business listings on these prominent sites, you allow both search engines and potential customers to get correct information about your business. Sometimes unscrupulous competitors may claim your listing on these sites to undermine you. Make sure you’re the first one to claim your listings in order to build trust between you, the search engines, and potential customers. There are also several local search directories that get significant traffic where you can claim your listings. and are examples of local search directories with good traffic.

3. Provide Plenty of Information about Your Business in Your Listings

When search engine users stumble upon your website through clicking on your business listing, you want to be sure that you give them as much information as possible about your service. In addition to including the basics such as your address, contact information, and operation hours give potential customers plenty of reasons why they ought to choose you over your competitors. For example, mention exactly which towns and neighborhoods you service, what credit cards you accept, what your guarantees are, and anything else that is pertinent.

4. Use Your Target Keyword Phrases as Anchor Text in Your Hyperlinks

Link reputation is an integral component of search engine algorithms. When possible, make sure that the links pointing back to your site use your best target keyword phrase and variations of your location as anchor text. Your internal links also contribute to link reputation so be sure to link to pages within your site using good link text. This link text can be used in your site navigation, HTML sitemap, and links within your content.

5. Monitor Reviews about Your Business Online

Thanks to the internet, consumers can submit online reviews of businesses to customer-controlled review sites like Yelp and share their experiences, whether good or bad. This could be highly beneficial to your business if it gets great reviews but it could also hurt you if you get some bad reviews. Monitor the reviews your business receives on a regular basis so you can spot bad reviews when they arise and dispute them if necessary. Sometimes customers don’t always give fair reviews so make that if you do get bad reviews that are unjustified, the potential customers who see them can get both sides of the story at the very least. Using Google Alerts is a convenient way to keep track of what is being said about your business online.

Focus on these 5 strategies in local search to boost your business’ online presence. There are several tactics you can use to increase targeted traffic to your business’ website and improve its ranking but these are some of the most effective ways to give your business a solid footing in local search.

About the Author: SEO Sapien is a SEO Company. We offer affordable and guaranteed search engine optimization services. You can visit our site at for more information and SEO Prices.