Check out the four steps below for tips on how you can improve your local search rankings in 2012.

Step One

Review your keywords. You may have used strong, relevant SEO keywords throughout your website, but did you include the city and/or state you’re hoping to optimize in? If not, that’s a big mistake right there. If you want to optimize in Phoenix for web design, it only make sense to use Phoenix Web Design as a keyword, right? Be sure to include the city in your content on each page as well. Remember, overkill isn’t going to do anything but discourage your web visitors from returning, so only use the city a couple times per page (depending on the length) to ensure you optimize — not antagonize — readers.

Step Two

Check local listings. Have you added/edited/updated your business’ listing on sites like Yahoo! Local, and City Search? If not, this misstep could be causing you to lose out on local traffic. There are more business directories than the ones listed above, but start off with the big ones first and then continue on to ensure your business is able to be searched for and found easily. If you’re able to add a description of your services/products, be sure to include some strong keywords to help you reach the local target audience you want.

Step Three

Optimize for mobile use.You’ve probably heard the importance of having a mobile site by now, but if you still haven’t invested in one, it’s safe to assume you’ve lost out on some local traffic because of it. Unoptimized sites are confusing, hard to navigate, and simply don’t offer mobile users fast, easy access to the information they want. Your mobile site will have condensed content (don’t forget the keywords and city-targeted keywords) as well as abbreviated navigation so your target audience can get what they want when they want it. This can help improve your local search results and increase conversion rates.

Step Four

Update your website. You probably already have your address listed somewhere on your site, but if you want to boost your local search results, add it to every page. Be sure to include your full address – that means address, city, state, and zip code to help ensure your business pops up when people are searching in your area.

Sounds easy enough, right? With just a little time and effort, these steps should help improve your local search results in 2012!