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Local businesses such as the local hardware shop, plumber, or a law firm needs a proper website.  Their clients expect it. You don’t just need a website, you need a site that comes up when people are searching for anything that your businesses offers.

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the physical process of optimizing your website so will come up when people are searching locally for any products or services that your business offers.  How do you get your website optimized to be optimized for local search?  Find a couple of tips below to help you get started with this process

Local search engine optimization

Keywords: Use a keyword research tool such as the Google Keywords Tool to find any local keywords that your visitors might use to find your business.  Choose local keywords and phrases which are broad terms together with the name of your city.

Meta tags: Use the keywords that you find in the meta title of your pages followed by the province and city that you are operating in. Title tags should never be longer than 70 characters as this the only length that Google displays on their search result pages. Use the keywords also in the meta description tag of your pages as this will also help attracting visitors. This is displayed underneath the title tag on Google’s search results. Why not use a call to action in your meta description?

Headings: Use the local keywords in the headings of your website pages. They should contain the most important keyword phrase and grab the visitors attention.  For local SEO purposes, include the province and city as part of the “<h1>,<h2>,<h3>” tags.

Content: Content is king.  Every page on your site should be optimized.  Use the local keywords that you have found in the content of your pages. It won’t help placing these “keywords” on images because the search engines indexes the text that it finds on a given page, not text on images.

Local address: Include your address and phone number on every page of your website so the search engines will pick up your area.  A good place to include this information is on the footer of your website. If you have multiple locations, create a separate page for each location.

Google places: Business listing are free on Google Places. If you want to create a listing on this free service, try to add as much information as possible to your listing and the hours that you are operating in. When you have created your listing, try to get your clients to add a review about your business. People like what they see.