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by Stephen Logan on 14th July 2009
Local search might not immediately spring to mind when it comes to defining priorities for optimising your site. However, by overlooking it you could also by overlooking one of your core niche markets.
By defining your locality, you give those in your surrounding area the opportunity to see exactly where they can find you. As many people still prefer to use services within a certain area, this provides the perfect opportunity to reach out to the community and show exactly why you’re worth using.
The techniques themselves aren’t all that different to conventional SEO implementation. A lot is dependent on Meta, copy and linking. But just as with SEO, everything needs to be done with great precision right throughout the site in order to gain the very best results.
A good place to start is within the major search engine directories. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing all have their own free business submission services. Here you can define where you are, what service you offer and provide all of the necessary information to find you, including the invaluable link back to your site. If you have your site included in these areas, you’ll benefit from appearing in the box at the head of the SERP alongside the map – gaining extra visibility.
Business directories are also extremely valuable. Dmoz and Yell (the online Yellow Pages) are just a couple of general sites where you can submit your details that include full business details. There should also be some more specific directories, aimed at particular industries or even areas, that you may well wish to consider. These will need to be researched though in order to gauge their effectiveness and validity.
Another easy way of getting to the top of the search engines in your area is through subtle tweaks to your copy. By introducing copy that includes both your service or company name (Search Marketing Company/Koozai) and your location (Southampton/Hampshire/UK), you can focus the search engines attention wherever you need it most. On its own, this may not achieve much in the way over localised interest. However, combined with the other local search methods, it can really provide a much needed extra boost.
To really target a key area, you may want to implement Geo tagging. This is a far more complex system and requires editing the Meta data of your site. It fundamentally works by pinpointing your exact location through tags that includes geographical coordinates or place names. This, though, can really help develop a more complete local search campaign.
However you wish to get your name known in the local community, be sure to try some of, if not all of the suggestions above. By keeping an eye on local search while focussing your attention elsewhere in your site’s marketing campaign, you can really start targeting a far more focussed and interested consumer base.
If you’re interested in getting your site noticed in your area, but aren’t confident about implementing the necessary changes, why not seek help from the professionals. Koozai offer a dedicated Local Search service, which has achieved fantastic results for a range of clients.