10 Tips to Help Your Business Boost its Local Search Rankings

Wouldn’t it be nice if people in your city found your business when they searched for certain keywords? This is possible with local search. Local search optimisation is essentially the practice of making your website rank for search terms that include keywords and a location. Getting your website to rank for local searches can help potential customers find your business and can help you increase sales.

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Here are 10 tips that can help you get local rankings:

Set up Your Profile

The major search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, all have business location pages. Google’s business registration system is called Google Places. You can login and set up your profile to include your business name and location, among other information, which will help your site rank for local search terms.

Choose the Right Category

When you set up your business profile, make sure you choose the best category for your company. Experts have found that Google relies heavily on business categories when displaying local search results.

Use Google Plus and Google Authorship

If your Google Plus profile includes your location information, and you use Google Authorship on your site, you can rank higher for local search terms.

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Add Your Contact Info to Your Website

Your website needs to include your location. Some larger businesses have separate landing pages for each location they serve, so that each city or neighborhood name is optimised.

Use Location Keywords in Your Content

Even after you have included your location on your website, use location keywords throughout your content and in meta tags. City and neighborhood names should be used strategically throughout your content and in your page descriptions.

Get Customer Reviews

Many search engines value business reviews, especially when it comes to local rankings. Sites that use fake reviews are penalized by search engines, but you are allowed to ask your customers to review your business.

Add Your Business to Directories

Adding your business, complete with location and address, to business directories can help you rank for local searches. The more you can correlate your business with a location, the better you will rank for local terms.

Use Local Press Releases

Every time you use a press release, make sure it is optimised for local search by including your city name and other local terms throughout the release. Where possible, link location-based keywords back to your website.

Join Local Social Media Sites

Foursquare, Yelp and other social media sites that are location-based can help you rank for local search terms. If your business isn’t using these sites, consider setting up accounts. If you already have an account, make sure your profile and location information is complete and optimised.

Rank Your Domain Name

If your website gets good rankings in general, it will likely get better local rankings. Doing traditional search engine optimisation for your website with keywords that aren’t location based will not only help your page rank for those keywords, but it will make it easier to rank for local keywords.

Local search rankings can be extremely beneficial to your business. Whether your customers are looking for you by name, or are searching for keywords with a city name, having your website on the first page of search results can help you increase your traffic and sales.