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Local SEO Checklist

Local SEO is the new way to help level the playing field for small businesses.   Over the last few years, it has become more difficult to get to that valuable first page ranking for Google Web searches since publishers (superpages,yellowpages,  citysearch, merchant circle, had mastered the rankings.  However, when Google integrated Maps into results, the Google 7 pack has now become extremely valuable.   Getting into this valuable real estate takes some work and the strategy is significantly different than normal SEO.   However, it can be very valuable since Google is doing a good job insuring only local businesses are shown here and not other publishers.  In addition, this is an important place to manage your online reputation beyond your own website due to the dominance that Google has and continues making in local search.

The Search Engine Journal has created a great checklist for small businesses to start managing their online reputation and local search SEO.   A few of the highlights include:

  • Contact Information should be easy for both customers and crawlers to find and reference.   Consistency is important as well, so claim all your listings on the major local search sites (Gmaps, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Yellowpages.com, etc)
  • Update your website’s Title and Description metatags.  These should have your local area (San Fran) and service (carpet cleaner) within the Title.
  • Do your homework!  There are tons of great resources of information out there.    Sign up and follow blogs from David Mihm, Greg Sterling, and Mike Blumenthal.  You can find great articles from them and others on Search Engine Land.

I would also reiterate the value of reviews, which are important not only for improving GoogleMaps rankings, but also for Online Reputation Management for Small Businesses.  Check out the whole article from the Search Engine Journal and if you’d like help getting to that valuable Google 7 pack, contact myself or any of the very competent Consultants listed above.

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