According to Google, 20% of searches are related to location. As a small business owner, you cannot ignore this fact. I am sure some of you business owners made taking your online presence more seriously your New Year’s resolution, but now 4 months later you still have not followed through! Well it’s time to shift into high gear and start taking advantage of local search.

Below are 5 quick tips for local business owners.

– Claim your Google Local Business Account ( Google Places )

In order for Google to have results in their map section they populate it with data from 3rd party providers. So, most likely your business information is already floating around in Google maps, but that is not good enough! Find your business listing and claim it. This will give your business more trust in the eyes of Google. More trust equals more visibility. To find your business, search your domain name or brand name in Google Maps.

You will know if your listing can be claimed because you will see the following:

Google Local Business Account

Simply click “Business Owner” and you will be taken through the confirmation process. (Now beware, sometimes the confirmation process can be a bit tricky because of duplicate addresses, etc. If you run into this I suggest you seek help here.)

– Place your main keywords into the title tag of your home page.

The title tag of your home page could be considered one of the most critical elements when it comes to ranking your website.  So, make sure to include your main keyword in your home page’s title tag.

Example:

Meta Title Tag

Now, I could go on for ten more pages about choosing the correct keyword(s) with keyword research, and discussing meta descriptions and your call to action, but I am keeping this simple. If you want more information, just contact us, we are more than willing to help!

– Add your local address and phone number on every page of your website.

To help send Google and the other search engines another signal of trust about your local business, simply add your full address and phone number to every page of the website. This can be done by placing it in the footer or header of your website. PLEASE PLEASE do not make this an image, because Google cannot read image text! (They might be able to, but that is another story where we all have to wear tin foil hats.)

Example:

Phone Number in your Header

Address in footer

– Buy a keyword rich domain

Google loves keyword rich domains; it’s that simple. Do not even try to argue against it! As a small business owner you could always buy your local keyword rich domain: keywordinlocation.com

Below is a quick and easy way to do this.

Search your keyword in Google Adword Tool using exact match and then export the data to excel:

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Scrub the list down to the keywords without spaces:

excel scrub

Finally, go search each keyword’s availability through a bulk domain checker:

domain availability

If you place your company website on one of these domains, it should rank for your target term relativity easily. (This is not a guarantee, and I advise you to do some more SEO than just this.) Now, I know what you are all thinking, “I’m just going to buy all these domains and set up sites.” However, Google frowns upon the practice of using many keyword rich domain names, so I advise against using more than one.

– Create a Twitter account and search daily for customers!

Believe it or not, small business owners can utilize the power of twitter. There are many different tactics, but the following is the most relevant at this point in time.

Search Twitter for customers:

Go to Twitter Advance Search. Choose your keyword (for this example, I own an auto detailing shop and I want to find people that are talking about washing their cars)

Twitter Advance Search

DON’T HIT SEARCH YET! Make sure you go down to “Places” and enter your local city + search radius. (In this example, I am target the area around San Diego)

Twitter Advance Search Geo Location

Hit Search and view the results and respond accordingly! (Below are some example tweets)

Tweet Kendallshaw

@kendallshaw, I love car washes too! Next time you need your car detailed we can hook you up with 10% off!

Tweet minhsanity

@minhsanity, I feel your pain! It happens. Hey, next time you need your car detailed we can give you up to 10% off!

Tweet Adamwillis

@adamwillis, We cry over here when we see dirty cars. Why don’t you swing by and we can give you 10% off!

Now, I suggest you get creative on the searches you perform on Twitter to find your target market. Make sure the messages you send to them do not sound like spam. Remember, people love deals, so hook it up for your twitter users; they will feel special and tell other people.

Now it is time to take action on these 5 quick tips! I’m serious; don’t put it off till tomorrow. I challenge you to do one of these items each week, after 5 weeks you will see positive return for your efforts. Feel free to share you own tips in comments section below.

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