Using Local SEO to Your Advantage

When was the last time you cracked open your phone book to find a local business?  Chances are you’re using your copy of the Yellow Pages to level your desk.  Well, your customers are not using their phone books either.  An estimated 56% of searches are for local services, businesses, and products. Are you taking advantage of those searches?

Traditionally, a local search query has always been in the form of the service plus the city or state.  For example, you may be looking for "pizza in Appleton", or "hotel in Green Bay".  As search algorithms have improved, search engines have become smarter at understanding not only the "local intent" behind a search query, but also where the searcher is located.  For example, if you now search on Google for the term "pizza", you’ll likely find pizzerias closet to your current location.  

In order to maximize the chances of your business being visible on local searches, your website should be optimized for local search by including your location with your site content and META tags.  You will also want to optimize local listings on various search engines.

How to Claim Your Local Listings

Create your business listing at Google Bing, and Yahoo by signing up for an account at each site.  Then search for your business.  If it is not already listed, add your business by following the instructions.

It is important that you fill out this information as accurately as possible so search engines can find your business. Be sure to:

You will then need to verify your information via phone or a postcard mailed to your business location.
Once you verified your information, you can now add to or update your business listing.

Best Practices in Claiming Business Listings

October 1, 2010

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