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If your business operates at a local level, or has a geographically-defined market area, then it is important that you engage in local SEO. This process should probably start with Google Places.

Google Places is Google’s online business directory, similar to Yellow Pages listings, with the listings appearing on pinned onto a local map. So if I am in Savannah, and I search Google for “carpet cleaner,” Google will likely show me a few local carpet cleaning businesses. Or I may have to click on Maps to view those listings. Then Google will show me a list of businesses, along with little pins showing where they are on a map of Savannah. Obviously, you would like your carpet cleaning business to appear high up on this list.

Go to www.google.com/lbc and provide very complete information about your business. Don’t play games here. It can be a real pain to “fix” your local business listing in Google, so give your exact business address and don’t try to trick Google into thinking your office location is somewhere it isn’t. Give a detailed description of your business and include your major keywords. You have 200 characters, so make every character count. Include any other relevant information such as your hours of operation, if you have parking available, awards you have won, etc. This is not time to be modest.

Also add some multimedia. Add images and videos. In fact, add as many images and videos as Google will allow. If you don’t have videos, create some! This is the 21st century! Go get a cheap video camera and have someone record you sitting at your desk explaining how you have helped your customers. Or create an informational video explaining how you do what you do. This ain’t Hollywood. Just think of something to talk about, comb your hair, and press record.

Here are few tips:

  • Use your exact business name for the titles.
  • Use your search keywords in the description.
  • Use your proper street address (a P.O. box defeats the whole point).
  • Use your local phone number.
  • If you have more than one location, fill out a profile for each location.

For local businesses, local search optimization is extremely important for generating search engine traffic to your website, so follow the above steps and you will greatly increase your odds of making this happen.