While the web is worldwide, search is often local. An enterprise software developer may want its website to show up in relevant searches virtually anywhere on the globe, but a restaurant, retail shop, marketing agency or IT services firm is generally much more concerned about showing up in searches from its own backyard than from Bangladesh or Turkmenistan.
Optimizing for local search has its own unique content and link-building considerations. Which SEO tools are most useful in supporting local SEO efforts? What are the most important local search directories? How can you take advantage of Google Places to increase your local search visibility? What techniques and tricks are most useful for local search?
Find the answers to these questions and more here in some of the most helpful guides to local search success of the past year.
10 Local Search Tools I Simply Can’t Live Without by Search Engine Journal
Writing that “There are PPC tools, SEO tools, Social Media tools, and even construction tools… but local search seems to have been the fat kid picked last in gym class,” Mike Ramsey notes that the situation has improved in the past year and shares his list of essential tools, from the SeOverflow Local Search Tool Kit (the “the bomb diggity for checking out competitors on a key phrase”) to Mike’s own MapTracker tool.
What Are the Top Local Search Directories? by AllBusiness
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Kevin Stirtz identifies some of the top local directories for SEO and provides an extensive and provides an extensive list of additional resources for local SEO expertise including Top 10 Local Search Directories By Importance by GrowMap and The 20 Best Local SEO Citation Sources for The United States by Dev Basu.
Google Places Citations: 5 More Tactics to Earn Links for Your Local Business by The Daily SEO Blog
Rand Fishkin outlines “five unique and useful ways to boost the visibility of your local site on the web,” such as using Google’s “discussion search” feature, local events calendars and “localizing” your social profiles.
How to optimize your business for local search by iMedia Connection
Jason Kreidman offers detailed tips and tactics for optimizing local business presence on Google (e.g., “Google now has its own section for reviews and is focusing attention on getting users to write reviews. The new place page displays several bold and prominent “write a review” buttons in various locations”), Yahoo and Bing local search, along with a list of additional important local directories for listing.
SEO for Local Search: Advanced Tricks by Coconut Headphones
Ted Ives follows up on his own SEO for Local Search: The Complete Guide with this post outlining 14 advanced local SEO techniques, such as using postcard verification with Google Places (“It will take longer, but your data will likely be considered by Google to be slightly more reliable…by sending a postcard with a confirmation code on it to the location, Google can be 100% sure that you’re actually located there”), getting a dedicated IP address, including your type of business in your company name (e.g., “Joe’s Barber Shop”) and updating your listing monthly (to take advantage of Google’s preference for fresh information).
Optimizing Your Google Places Page by The Daily SEO Blog
Geoff Kenyon provides a helpful guide to making the most of a Google Places page, covering five key areas: creating a complete and consistent profile, optimizing keywords, defining your service area, encouraging reviews, and performing bulk uploads (e.g., for multi-location or franchise businesses).