All Search is Local.

It’s an old advertising adage that predates the internet, but is especially relevant in the current search marketing world. As search engines (AKA Google, but we’ll be polite and vague here) become more accurate in delivering geo-targeted search results, placing your company in a prime position within local search results is essential now, and will only be more important moving forward.

Do a simple search on anything and you’ll notice that even without adding localized keywords, you will see results delivered that cater to your location. As mobile adoption becomes more prevalent, expect this trend to increase in the future. We as consumers expect not only to see search results in our town or locality, but to see results in our line of sight.

To take things a step further, not only are we being served up localized results, but personalized results as search engines attempt to look at our saved search history and browser preferences to deliver up the most accurate search. Trying to get your site to rank for search terms on a national level is a thing of the past. That said, if a marketing company offers to get you the top results in Google, be skeptical or at least ask “where?”. Unless you can hide your location, you most likely will see search results based on any number of localized technologies:  your IP address, your browser, your internet preferences, other websites you’ve visited, etc.

But within all this search complexity is a silver lining. You no longer have to fight an uphill battle to rank organically for search terms against every website in the world. You can carve up some space in your town, and compete against a smaller number of competitors near you.

So where do you begin? Try placing a couple of local keywords in your title tags. Especially if you’re in an ultra-competitive space, separating your business with local keywords will give you an edge. We hear from clients, “But we don’t do that much business locally.” Well, this is a starting point. It can’t hurt, and chances are if you’re not already ranking well for your selected keywords, it sure won’t hurt to narrow down the search to your local area. It can only help you start to rank on some level.

Another tip to getting in on local search, claim your free local listings. Check out Google, Bing local and Maps. If your business isn’t there, create a listing. If you see your business listed, claim the listing and take over management of the information contained. By doing so, you’ll add another listing for your business within the search engine and help the search engine reinforce who you are and where you’re located. This can even work with businesses that have multiple locations.

Make sure to place your address somewhere on your site as well. Every little bit helps in our ever-shrinking world.