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5 SEO Tips to Optimize Your Local Search Rankings

Posted on September 13th, 2012 by | Google+

No doubt, the internet has shrunk geographical distances and customers today can access products and services from any corner of the world. But the fact is more people are looking for products and services in their own corners or local areas. According to this blog post on Search Engine Land, more than 20% of Google searches are for a local business.

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There is no room for confusion. Local search is crucial.

Why is Local Search Gaining Importance?

Frankly, the reasons are many.

For instance, someone new in town wants to have a great cup of coffee. It is easier for him/her to ‘Google’ his query rather ask strangers (however helpful they may be).

Or people want to choose local services for the convenience. For instance, if I wanted to join a gym, I would rather choose one close to my home (or office) for convenience rather than something faraway.

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In case you did not know, the phone book is officially dead.

And these are just 2 reasons…

The point is you need to focus your SEO efforts on gaining advantage in the local search results.

SEO experts recommend the following 3 tips to dominate the local rankings.

  1. Google Places is THE place to be

Wherever you are physically, you have to be present on Google Places to make sure that you are found easily in local searches. Fill out all relevant information on your Google Places account including operation timing, any specialties of your business, images, videos and anything else you can think of, which will offer maximum information to prospective customers and make them choose you over competition.

Recently Google Places has been replaced by Google+ Local.

  1. Target Geo-Targeted Keywords in SEO

Optimize your content with city name and even specific locality names and include them in your title, h2 and meta tags for best results. A simple trick to do this if you have multiple locations is to create customized landing pages for each area with appropriate location keywords. Of course, the cardinal SEO rule of unique, non-duplicate content has to be followed for each page.

  1. Directory Listings

Getting listed in popular, category specific directories gives you valuable back links and enhances your search rankings. List your business on popular review sites, as it gives prospective customers a better perspective on your products and service through the actual user experience of another customer. Some popular general review directories include Yelp, Yahoo Local and City Search.

Niche popular directories you should list on, depending on your business include Trip Advisor and Booking.com (for hotels), Urban Spoon and Zagat (for restaurants) and so on.

So what SEO strategies have you used for your local ranking?

Tried any of the above 3? Do let us know in the comments section.

The author of this post is Yasir Khan, founder of Canada based Quantum SEO Labs. Quantum SEO Labs offers comprehensive local SEO services to a wide range of businesses.

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