SEO for Local Businesses

May 17, 2009

If you run a business that targets local customers you need to make sure you get a high search engine placement when someone does a search for one of your targeted keywords or phrases and the area where you’re located, e.g. Estate Agents Chelsea.

There are several things you must do to achieve this, but the one I’m talking about today is getting your location name in the page titles of your index page.

I’ve just spent several days doing this on a number of client sites and used several different methods of getting this right. Some of them were time consuming, but eventually I found two on-line tools that enabled me to create the correct title coding in less than five minutes.

The coding you’re trying to create for your business is going to look something like this:

meta name=”geo.placename” content=”Your Town, Area Postcode/Zipcode, Country” />
meta name=”geo.position” content=”00.127500;0.269128″ />
meta name=”geo.region” content=”COUNTRY-AREA” />
meta name=”ICBM” content=”00.127500, 0.269128″ />

The ICBM code is interesting, it’s an abbreviation for InterContinental Ballistic Missile and can be used to pinpoint your location with devastating accuracy!

Your first step is to take a visit MyGeoPosition input your postcode/zipcode and choose the accuracy of position you require. I’d suggest “exactly” if you’re a retail shop that people may want to visit, especially if you’re going to be found on a Google local map along with a number of competitors.

Once you’ve done that go to the MAP tab, zoom in and move the pin marker to exactly the spot you want to be found at.

You might want to check the GEODATA tab as well. I have a client on the edge of a UK postcode and the first time I moved the pin marker, it took them into the adjacent postcode that differed from the one used in their mailing address. I moved the pin a tad and found it was now in the correct postcode.

Now move onto the GEO-METATAGS tab and copy the four lines of code you find there and paste it into the titles on your index page and then refresh the page.

You now need to check the accuracy of your work by visiting GeoTagValidator and validating your code by submitting your URL.

If there is anything wrong with the code you’ll find your errors highlighted along with indications of what you need to do to correct it. So make the changes to the coding, refresh; validate once more and you should be finished.

That’s the easy part. Now you must have the patience to wait to see what happens next time Google crawls your page!

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