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local searchLocal Search is when online visitors are looking for a local business for services.  It is done simply by searching online via a search engine for something like a local plumber.  You can simply type in "Plumber {your city}" and see the results.  In the middle of the page will be a map which will have pins on it and a list to the side of what search engines think you are looking for.

So how do we improve your position on this list?

1. Optimize your website for Local SEO

This is a common misunderstanding when it comes to local SEO.  Many people think they need to put a bunch of keywords in page titles with their city in it.  This will do more harm than good unless you know what you are doing and not over using it. You need your Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) on every page of your website.  This is usually in the header or the footer which doesn't change usually when you are viewing website pages.

 2. Set up Google My Business, Bing Local, and Yahoo Local

Start with Google My Business since that will take care of most of the local searches (75% or more).  Here's a post on how to set up Google My Business.  Now you need to optimize these locations which is more involved but basically just means filling out the information appropriately.

3. Check and Update Online Directories

Search engines compare your NAP with popular directories to confirm the location of your business.  If any of these are out of sync it can hurt your ranking and depress your results.  There are many different ways to speed up this process using various tools like MOZ local.  This helps remove duplicates and incorrect listings.

4. Manage Reviews

Online review sites like Yelp and Google My Business give search engines signals on the credibility of your business.  

These review sites are under fire for false posting.  It is currently estimated that up to 50% of online reviews are fake.  Recently some websites like Yelp have taken the offensive and suing individuals for posting fake reviews.  So don't go out and create false personas and post fake positive reviews for your services because you can get caught.

5. General Ranking Factors

There is a laundry list of general ranking factors that effect organic SEO.  Without going into too much detail here are just a few to consider for Local Search:

  • Social media signals
  • Inbound links
  • Traffic and clicks to website
  • Domain authority
  • ...etc.

Negative Factors That Can Hurt Your Results

  1. Mismatched citations (NAP)
  2. Malware on website
  3. NON-Mobile Resposive
  4. Fake reviews

 Local Search is one of the most intuitive and easy things to fix when it comes to SEO.  By following the steps above you can boost your local presence online.  If you need help with this we can easily give your business a low cost, one time service.



Topics: SEO, Local Search

Tony Sova

Written by Tony Sova

Owner of Softwired, a web design, SEO, and Inbound Marketing firm.