For many businesses, SEO is of the utmost importance. It can help build an effective presence over the World Wide Web, maximize search results and build a positive image of a business. For small local businesses, SEO is a goldmine of solutions; the usual concern for business owners is to be able to target the audience that will most likely respond well – the local audience. For example, a bakery based out of Florida might want to use an SEO Consulting firm to discover the importance of Geo Targeting and Long Tails and the benefits of targeting a specific local audience. There are three points, or steps, to consider when on-going a local SEO program; to manage business profile data in a proactive manner, to optimize search results and web pages for local queries and to increase the local Web site popularity.

To manage a business profile efficiently, it is important to understand that your business profile is the foundation of your business’s web presence but also of your SEO program. The business profile and that data included in it are the starting point of your program and it is important to be assured of the accuracy of the information available on websites such as infoUSA – if we keep the Florida bakery in mind. Other websites, like GoogleMaps, Ask.com, MSN Local and Local.com, for example, might all have a listing for your business. Knowing where you business appears and having an accurate, updated listing on these websites is a great way of ensuring the success of your SEO program.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. To optimize local search queries, to same basic principles used in regular SEO programs will apply; keyword research and developing unique content will be used as well. For local business however, it is important to incorporate local keywords.  Local keyword use can incorporate names of cities; for example, our bakery in Florida would better use the name of its specific location, for example Miami, instead of using Florida only. Another way of using locality to your advantage would be to research the dialect – some States might have specific expressions or words and if those pertain to your business, they certainly can be used as keywords.

Increasing local Web site popularity is also an important part of any local SEO program. A good way of doing so is with in-bound site links. It is well-known in SEO that links are all about quality; might as well have only a few in-bound links that will actually get you results rather than a full listing with only 2 or 3 good links. If your business or company is part of any association, such as a local business association, or chamber of commerce, requesting to have a link on their website can greatly increase your local presence on the web. These associations really have well-built authoritative websites and it might increase your local popularity to be linked to them.