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Most small businesses sell specifically to local customers. If that’s how your business operates, does your website help you target your search engine efforts at a local level?

Trying to compete for high search engine rankings with other companies at a national level is next to impossible.  You’ll need to spend a lot of time and money to keep your national search engine rankings high.  So, here are some tips on helping reach your local market:

  • Add your city name and zip code in the meta tags on all of your web pages.
  • On every page of your site, include your address and phone number. This is good for search engines in addition to being user-friendly for readers’ easy access to contact information.
  • If you have images on your website, add “ALT” text to indicate your location. For example, if you are a bakery in Louisville, one of your images ALT text might read “custom birthday cake, Louisville”, or “Louisville baked goods”.
  • Submit your website to local search engines and free business listings such as Manta, SuperPages, Yahoo Local Listings and Google Places.

Be sure to search for your company in the different search engines on a monthly basis using keywords specific to your industry. If you don’t have good rankings, work with your web designer or a marketing professional to optimize your site. But, don’t expect overnight success. It may take a few months before you get the results you are aiming for.