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19 October 2009

How To Optimize Your Site for Local Search

Some website owners might not want visitors to come from all over globe but rather from a specific country, city or region. This could be the case with local bloggers or offline business owners, for example. In those occasions it would be a good idea to optimize the site for local search, and here are some tricks that you can use for the purpose.

1. Add Your Site to Google Maps

Visit local.google.com and click on “Put your business on Google Maps.” You will need to login to a Google account, and after that you will need to fill some forms.



After that you will need to locate your location on the map and describe the category that better describes your business or website. Set your office timing along with you contact numbers and preferred payment option. You can also submit photos or videos.

Once you are done you will need to verify your insertion, and this can be done via SMS, phone or postcard. After the verification is complete your website will start appearing on local search queries.

If you want you can also submit your website to Yahoo! Local and Bing Local.

2. Use Geo Tags

Geotagging, according to Wikipedia, is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs, video, websites, or RSS feeds. These data usually consist of latitude and longitude coordinates, though they can also include altitude, bearing, accuracy data, and place names.

Geotags help search engine to locate you on the map and this may help on local search queries. Classic geotags are a combination of Latitude and Longitude for your city. To find Latitude and Longitude of you city you many visit mygeoposition.com.

Applying geotags is not hard. Here is an example for Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. You just need to add the code below to the Head section of your site or blog (modifying it accordingly):

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3. Use Google Webmaster Tools

Another way to let Google know about your geographical location is via the Google Webmaster Tools. Once you are logged go to Settings (If you are managing multiple website then select the target website first). There you will find one option called “Geographic target.” Specify your location and save.

4. Local Web Directories and Yellow Pages

Submitting your site to local web directories and yellow pages will help you in two ways. First of all it will drive local traffic to your site. Secondly, it will also give you some relevant backlinks and improve your search engine authority for local search queries.

Remember that directories and sites with your country level extensions (e.g., .co.uk, .in and so on) will work better than sites with normal top level extensions.

Jaydip blogs about Internet Marketing, SEO and Blogging on Jaydip.info.


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