Once you have a basic understanding of what local search is and why it is important, there are a lot of ways to improve your business’ local search results. Lets start with the basics:
Website Content and Structure
You can do a lot to improve your website’s local search performance just by changing the content on your site. One of the most important and most basic tactics is to add your phyiscal address to the footer of each page. Other tactics can include placing location names in URLs, Geotagging the website pages via page Meta Tags (ICBM method or Geo Tag Microformat), adding your phone number with area code to the site, Geo-tagging photos and videos, or even providing a KML file of your business locations.
Location Based Indexes
The next thing to do is to created listing for your business on location based indexes:
Location Based Social Media
- Foursquare – A location based social network focused on mobile devices. People are now using Foursquare as a location based search engine and this is a trend likely to grow.
- Gowalla – A location based social network a lot like Foursquare. Here is a brief article contrasting the two services.
- Yelp – User based reviews of local businesses.
If you want to go further in depth and learn how your online media impacts local search, this info-graphic on Web Equity and Online Presence is a great place to start figuring out how it all work’s together. I also love this local search ranking factors guide (warning: it is a lot to take in if you are just getting started.)