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7 Google Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

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7 Google Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

7 Google Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

One of the best small business marketing sources to obtain lead generating search visibility is through the local organic search results. Local organic search results refer to the Google search listings that appear with reviews and a corresponding Google map.

Local SEO is a key marketing tool for small and medium sized businesses and is also one of the most confusing SEO strategies to implement. The fact that Google's local search algorithm is different from traditional organic search makes it even more challenging for local businesses to understand the techniques that work.

A local business can gain a big upper-leg on its competition by optimizing its web presence for local organic search. When showing local search listings, Google employs a number of factors to render the best and most relevant results possible.

For example, if you do a keyword search for "breweries" (or something that implies local relevancy) without including a search geo-modifier (such as a city like "breweries in San Francisco" or "Portland breweries"), Google will use your IP address or the Gmail account with which you are currently logged in to display results closest to you. Only the breweries that have put effort in building a solid web presence will have a prominent showing in the local organic search results.

Taking a Closer Look at the Local Organic Search Listings

Although each brewery's headline link will take you to the company's actual website, it is worth noting how the Google reviews link will take you to the Brewery's Google+ Local page. So there is more that contributes to the local search engine rankings other than a business's website, one being a business's Google+ Local page. Although creating a well-optimized website is very crucial for achieving better results on search engine pages, a solid Google+ Local page plays an important role.

In addition to a Google+ Local page, there are other elements that need to be considered. Below are seven valuable local SEO tips that will help to make your local business presence more prominent in search.

1. Optimize the website for your keywords respectfully and avoid keyword stuffing. The first thing to do is research on your main keywords extensively so as to come up with key phrase combinations that your customers use when searching for local businesses. After deciding on these, optimize your website's page titles and meta descriptions respectfully so as to meet local search terms. Avoid over stuffing these keywords and also try to include a geo-modifier (your city name) to each of these keywords.

2. Get your business's address verified on its Google+ page. Verifying your company address on your company's Google+ page will also make it easier for Google to identify your location whenever someone searches for your keywords and rank you appropriately. Verification of your address is as simple as submitting it through your Google+ page, after which Google will mail you a postcard with a PIN verification code.

3. Link your website to your Google+ Local page. Including a "Follow us on Google+" link on your website will also go a long way in increasing your presence on Google's search engine results page. This link code is normally found on your Company's Google+ profile (when in edit mode). The link tag also contains the very essential "rel-publisher" snippet.

4. Populate your Google+ Local page with accurate and sufficient info about your company. Include relevant info about your company, what it deals in, and a few other things that customers may need to know about your company. Where appropriate, deploy your main keywords and geo-modifier.

5. Earn or ask for reviews from some of your customers. In some cases, pages that have more customer reviews (whether good or bad) will typically have more authority and rank highly on local search engine results listings. Put in place some creative and innovative ways of getting your customers to review some of your products.

6. Include the address of your business on all pages of your website. Be sure to include your company's address in the footer of every page of the website, and make sure that there is no difference between this address and that on your Google+ Local page. Make sure that your address is accurate to avoid any legitimacy issues that may arise.

7. Get your company listed on relevant directory sites. Create your company's listings and profiles on other directory sites such as Yellowpages, Manta, Yelp, Yahoo Local and LinkedIn just to mention a few. To ensure your company is legitimate, Google will search and match your company's address on its website, Google+ Local page, and on other directory sites. This signifies that you're a real business, and the more listings you have the more authority you can earn in Google local search.

As you may notice, a solid and well optimized website is not all it will take for your company to attain high ranks on Google. By carefully addressing each of these Google local SEO tasks, your business will be better placed to appear higher in Google's rankings.

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