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Local Search Optimization: Single Best Optimization Tip
Friday, June 04, 2010
We continue to run our series of posts about the importance of content development and establishing a content development strategy.  For a business with multiple physical  locations. as part of this process, you should also be considering the idea of optimizing for local search.

The Single Best Optimization Tip for Local Search Optimization

Are you ready for this?  Ok, well it's not rocket science, if you are trying to optimize your website for local search, the single best item that you need to ensure you implement is creating a page for each every location that you have.  It is content creation for local search to help target your local audiences.  It means having branch location pages for all of your stores.  If you do not think that there is any value to this, consider this post by Google's Matt Cutts, where basically Matt is indirectly telling us how to optimize for local search.

In the post Matt suggests the following:
  • If you want your store pages to be found, it’s best to have a unique, easily crawlable url for each store.
  • each web page should have a unique url
  • create an HTML sitemap that points to the web pages for your stores
  • If you have a lot of stores, you could have a web page for each (say) state that links to all stores in that state.
  • Google does provide Google Places (formerly Google Local Business Center) where you can tell Google directly about your business, as do other search engines.
For the record, we have made this recommendation time and time again to many of our clients.  Those that have taken the time to build out store or office location pages have had the greatest success and have improved traffic to their web sites for geo-appended phrases, have increased their presence within both blended, local search results and in the results of the main index of engines such as Google.

Everything that Matt stated is helpful in improving your presence within local search results.  I would add that you should ensure that you leverage on-page optimization practices when creating your local store pages to help the engines find and  rank this content accordingly.  This includes leveraging brand and geo-appended keywords in:
  • title tags
  • meta descriptions
  • URLs
  • on-page headings
  • in the anchor text linking to your store pages
  • in the page copy of your store pages
This will assist your pages in improving the relevancy and authoritativeness for these terms.

The post from Matt is an excellent one, because it spells out something that, while is extremely obvious, is often overlooked by many larger site out there.  You need to have regional content if you want any chance to be found for local search queries or in the local search engines.

The single best optimization technique for local search?  Content creation for your branch or store location pages.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, June 04, 2010  
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