You know how to create a well-designed website and you’ve launched it out into space – a.k.a. the Internet. Now you just have to make your site popular enough to attract would-be customers. This is where local SEO tactics come in handy. Read on for tips on how to optimize your website for a local audience.

Choose your keywords

Think about what keywords you want your website to rank for in search results. For example, if you’re a small business in Toledo that sells sculptures made out of scrap metal, you probably want to rank for “scrap metal sculptures Toledo.” Trying to rank for a more general phrase like “scrap metal sculptures” puts you in competition with every scrap metal sculpture business – a battle you’re not ready to fight.

Check the local results

The next step is to research your keywords and what locals are searching for. Search for the phrase you want to target to see if it brings up local search results. If your search brings up the 7 pack – a grouping of local search results – then it’s going to be more difficult to rank for this local keyword phrase. If your search turns up regular results, it shouldn’t be hard to rank for your location.

Submit your site to local directories

Local directories like Yelp, Google Places, Mapquest and CitySearch are your best friends. Submit your business name, address and phone number to directory sites like these. Encourage customers to post reviews of your business to local directories to gain notoriety on search engine results. The more positive reviews your business gets, the more likely it is to turn up in local search results.

Create a blog and update regularly

Constantly providing your audience with content that answers questions about your niche makes them more interested in your work, and it shows search engines that your website is updated often. If you let your website and blog fester for a year or two, you’re not giving users a reason to visit your site other than to buy products – which is good, but not enough to put you at the top of search results.

Get social

There’s arguably no better way to gain notoriety than to put your business on social media sites. Social media acts as a personal method of communicating with customers and sharing the latest news regarding your business. The more shareable you make your content, the more likely your fans are going to share it with their friends, building your online reputation even more.

Hire a professional

If you follow these tips and your results are still unfruitful, consider seeking help from a professional. There are plenty of reliable local SEO companies that can help point your website in the right direction. These services can help you with anything from map optimization to mobile search targeting.

Optimizing your website for local SEO helps you better reach your target audience. Following these tips, along with implementing good web design and hiring a reliable web hosting service, ensures a quality website. See you in the search results!

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