Fine Tuning Your SEO for Local Search

  • September 14, 2010
  • SEO

Ah, the lovely folks at Google — always changing their algorithms for search. What worked well even six months ago may not work today, and certainly may not work in another six months.

Here are some tips to help you fine tune your site’s SEO, particularly for local search:

Pay close attention to your meta title tags, since this often is what will be the headline in search. Never have “home” or — while a bit better — “David’s Plumbing.” You need specifics for local search, so the 64 characters you can use in your meta title tags should be something along the lines of:  three keywords, then your city, two more keywords, and then another city. So, taking the plumbing company above, the title meta tag could be: “Reliable honest plumbing Encinitas | fix toilet | Carlsbad.”

Used to be, your URL didn’t matter; now it does. So try to get keywords in your URL. Don’t go getting a new URL, because the search engine spiders actually like older sites better than new sites. But if you’re starting fresh, aim to use keywords in your new site’s URL.

As for your content, aim for this keyword formula: place your keywords in your headline and within the first 150 words of the content. Keep the content flowing naturally – don’t try to stuff as many keywords as possible in your copy. Be sure to use your location in a keyword. Aim to have at least one hyperlink on each page link to another page of your site.

Particularly important for local search is making sure you have your address and phone number on each and every page, including your home page. Aim for this address and phone number to be the same as on any other websites or blogs you may have, as well as in online directories such as, Google Place, Yahoo!, etc.

Work to get list on all the directories you can find, from the extremely local niched (your chamber of commerce and your local newspaper’s directories), to Web directories.

Ask your happy customers and supporters to submit reviews to,,, etc. If they’re willing, but time is scarce, offer to write the review for them, let them read it and make any changes they wish, and then submit it yourself with their names.

Let get your site optimized for local search. The process is time-consuming and, the learning curve is long. Do you really have time to do all that needs to be done to optimize your site for local search? Probably not. But local SEO is what we live and breathe. Contact today.