Google has just launched Google Local, Yahoo unveiled SmartView Yahoo Local Search last week, Gigablast was one of the first search engines to offer local search, Internet Yellow Pages are expected to be the new local buyer to business connection. If you are a brick and mortar business dependent on local customers who use the Yellow Pages or Internet to find you it is imperative that your store/service’s web site is optimized for local search.
Along with basic search engine optimization (SEO), if you have a geographically-specific business you should be looking at localized SEO as well. Things may change in how the search engines eventually refine their local search technology, but it can’t hurt to do a few simple things…and get a jump on your local competition.
1) Add your address in a prominent place on your web pages. Many sites use the very bottom of their pages for their address listings. Address location didn’t use to matter. Localized search may change all that, so consider including all or part of your address nearer to the top of your page.
2) Add city and state information to your meta description and title tags.
3) Add local information to your site’s content. As demonstrated in our local golf search example, links to and information on other businesses and attractions in your town may end up helping to promote your own site.
4) Add geosensitive meta tags to your site – example (thanks Gigablast!);
meta name=”zipcode” content=”87112,87113,87114″
meta name=”city” content=”albuquerque, abq, rio rancho”
meta name=”state” content=”new mexico”
meta name=”country” content=”usa, united states of america”