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Web Marketing: How to Optimize for Local Search

If you’re a local business in web marketing, try optimizing for local search. A top local search listing can drive customers faster than any other online marketing technique. Google and Bing are always experimenting with new ways to mix local search data into search results. Note how Google has added local information and reviews, and inserted several bicycle shops into the top 10 for seattle bicycles.

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Local search optimization isn’t difficult. But it does require a very sustained effort, around three different factors:

  • Listings, on the local search engines and the directory sites they reference

  • Reviews and bookmarks on those same sites

  • Local data on your website

The first step in local search optimization is making sure that your business is in each major search engine’s local search directory. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Search for your business on Google Places and Bing.

  2. Make sure you fill out all fields requested by the search engine, including the description and hours.

  3. Submit your website to InfoUSA.com, Yelp.com, Superpages.com, Yellowpages.com, and CitySearch.com.

    The major search engines crawl these sites to determine relevance and location. Note that other sites are available, too. These basics will get you started.

  4. Make sure that your business is assigned to the correct category in the local listings.

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