Local SEO – Step 2: Preparing Your Website for Local Search

Much of “Local” Optimization is focused on “off-page” factors – registering with the search engines, creating citations, building links, and garnering customer reviews and recommendations – however, it important that your website is set up to do what it can to help.

Have Only One Website

Avoid having multiple “micro-sites” floating around the web. They dilute your authority, cause problems with the search engines, and can confuse your potential clients.

Instead, use targeted landing pages. They add to the size and authority of your website, can be optimized to perform well in organic search, and are viewed as normal part of your website by both search engines and visitors.

Know Your NAP (Name-Address-Phone Number)

In the first article from this series “Local SEO – Step 1:Listing Your Business on the Search Engines”, you decided on one business name, one address, and one phone number (preferably a local number rather than a 1-800 number) to use across the web.

Consistent use of your NAP across all platforms, including your website, is crucial to “local” Search Engine success. Ideally, you would place your NAP information on every web page – I include it in my footer – but even if you only have it on your “Contact” page, it should match the NAP information that you set up your search engine accounts with, and an individual contact page for each location is better than having multiple locations listed on a single page.

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Optimizing for your Location

Okay . . . time for a little traditional SEO.

Although your business may serve multiple towns or cities in your area, you can actually only optimize your “Local” Search for the city in which you have a physical address.

It is helpful to include the name of your “local” area in the title tags of your website. The title tags are your opportunity to let the search engines know what your webpage is about. If you are not comfortable with code, or do not have a Content Management System, you will need to enlist your web designer for this step.

Title Tag

In addition, it is a good idea to mention your local area in the content of your webpage if it can be done in a natural manner.

Optimizing for Surrounding Locations

If you are finding “local” optimization limiting, and would like to optimize for other areas, that can still be accomplished through traditional SEO – creating an optimized webpage for each targeted area- or through Pay Per Click advertising.

Thanks for reading. As always questions and comments welcomed and appreciated! Any other “on-page” factors that you would recommend for local search?

Discuss This Article

Comments: 3

  • Brandon says:

    Nice tips Brent. I was thinking of doing some tests with two websites for one business to see if both would rank, but after reading the first part I am thinking twice about it. Do you find that having a second site would actually hurt the first sites rankings or would the only problem be that your not adding to the authority of the first site?

  • Hi Brandon,
    Interesting question. My feeling would be that both could rank from a traditional SEO perspective as long as both had original content. It could cause problems for Local SEO unless they each had their own physical address. My main concern would probably be in user experience for the customer – could cause confusion and brand delusion. Would you be doing this to test different design?

  • Brandon says:

    Yea, I am now thinking it should be two different designs, different content, and maybe even different phone numbers to track the calls coming in. After reading your article and comment I think you’re right about the user experience. So what I may end up doing (if I do it at all) is make the second site a generic site with no logos, just a text title at the top with the city and niche, ex. Los Angeles Tile Contractor. That way their main site is still there (all citations pointing to the main site) and helps represents the brand and the second site would be a non-branded site just for lead capturing.

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