If Google is committed to local search, then you should also be committed to local search. When your business ranks well in local search, you have a better opportunity to place your website in front of potential customers. Follow these five tips to improve your results for local search.
Be accurate. Many small businesses have incorrect addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses on their home pages. In some cases, they have no contact information at all. Having visible contact information, preferably near the top of the page, will improve your website's local search rankings.
Choose relevant keywords. Add the keywords that customers use when they search for your business to your website content in a natural way. Even better, customise your keyword by adding the name of your town to your keyword phrases. For example, if a customer searches Google for "Melbourne plumber," then a plumber who has added the city name into his or her website text will earn a higher ranking than a business using the generic keyword "plumber."
Encourage customer input. To build high-quality links, ask customers to review your business online. For example, if you own a restaurant, ask customers to review it on a site like UrbanSpoon.com. In addition to introducing your business to new customers, these reviews connect your business to your town, which can improve your local Google results.
Get social. If you aren't present on social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare, then you are missing out on opportunities to improve results in local search. Google has begun to prioritise links that connect social networking pages to business websites.
Optimise for mobile. Make sure that your website looks good on a mobile device. According to rumours, Google may penalise sites that are not optimised for mobile devices.
After you do these things, don't forget to measure your results by using available Google tools to analyse the performance of your website. Track items like page rank, click-through rates and conversion rates to learn how effective your local search results really are.
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