Local Search Marketing Advantage

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Say you are a small business owner who wants their web site to appear in their area of business locally.   You get most of your business from referrals, but it sure would be nice to have some presence within your town.  How do you go about getting your site established in the local search engines?  What do you do in order to take advantage of local search marketing?
First, you will need to examine your website.  Does it have good content or is it just flash or photos?  Content that describes your business, where you do business at (city, zip code, landmark locations – i.e. across from the courthouse on the square) are important.
Ask yourself what most people searching for your services is looking for when they search online.  What would you type into a search box to find a good dentist near where you live?  You’d want to know that they take great care to avoid pain and you’d want to know that they accept your insurance.  You should mention what type of dentistry you specialize in, or if you have a specialty, like children’s dentist.
People also want to know something about you.  So you want to make sure you have a page that talks about the dentist, maybe include a picture.
What people want to know is that other patients of yours had good experiences.   Solicit patient reviews of your services and ask them if they mind if you include it on your website.
The pages you have shouldn’t take a lot of time, we’re talking about 250 – 500 words max per page.  A big item to include as well is a page showing easy to find driving directions and a Google map.  Local search is all about geo-targeting, so be sure to have a page that includes how to find you, where you’re located as well as your physical address prominently displayed on every page.
When you have the opportunity to write in a title tag, make sure you also include your city or town.  Dentist – South Bend Indiana – for an example.
In your description (the part that actually shows up under your URL) make sure you clearly state Dentist Office, South Bend IN that believes in a pain free experience and has the patients to back that up!  Or something that gets people’s attention…it is your 30 second commercial, so make the most of it.
If you follow these fairly easy guidelines submission for local search marketing is also easy.  Google Maps, Yahoo Local and MSN Live are the main locations you want to be listed in.
I don’t want to get cross ways with the internet yellow pages, but my advice is to go with the free listing first and if you feel that a premium listing is justified, you can always add that later.  I would also stay away from smaller directories.  You will end up getting more junk email from them than real customers.
Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
Driving Business Results through Search Optimization and Local Search Marketing
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