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Local SEO for Small Business – Get Ranked Locally! Newport Beach , Irvine California

posted Oct 7, 2012, 6:39 PM by David Khorram   [ updated Oct 7, 2012, 6:42 PM by Rafael Hernandez ]
Google’s recent Venice update back in March 2012 was a fundamental shift in how local listings are shown in search results. The change in Google’s policy makes it dramatically easier to rank for what were previously unattainable keywords in “universal” rankings. Local businesses now have a shot, if they can create a strong geographic footprint and create enough “local citations”. I fully cover this subject in my online SEO training class, but let’s dive right into how you can start ranking higher for local searches, with this local SEO checklist:

  1. Register with Google Places ( Now Google Plus ) . This is probably the most important one. They’ll ask for your address and send you a postcard with a 4 digit code that you later confirm.

  2. Sign up for Yahoo Local. Yahoo’s process is fairly straightforward and quick.
  3. Create an account at Bing Local. Bing will also send you a postcard.
  4. Reserve your Yelp page with Yelp, this can be extremely beneficial in helping your ranking signal, especially after you get a number of legitimate reviews.
  5. Make a listing at Yellow Pages. In my opinion, YP is not as important as Google, Yahoo and Bing, but should still be done.
  6. Register with City Search. Again, another 2nd tier local listings site, but make sure to do it.
Next, get listed on local key sites, based on your geographic location. Are you based in Richmond, Virginia? What are the local TV stations there? The local newspapers? Are you in Buenos Aires? What are the local forums, newspapers, message boards and local blogs? City-specific event boards? Every geo-location is going to be different for this one, but make sure you acquire a number of links that are very clearly designed for your location.

Finally now that you’ve identified a number of places to acquire listings and links, you have to remember this one vital principle: Your listing must be consistent! What does that mean? You want your listing to appear the exact same across all listings. So if you are from Widget company at 123 main street, here’s how it should look:

Widget Company
123 Main Street
Anytown, USA

What you want to avoid at all costs, is inconsistency in your citations, so make sure you’re not putting “The Widget Company” … ” Widget Company Inc.” … “The Widget Co Anytown USA”. You want predictable, consistent listings on all of the previously mentioned websites.

And that’s it! I recommend trying to get 5-15 local citations, depending on how competitive your vertical is. This should get you started on your path to better local listings for your small business. Enjoy!

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