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Local Search Optimization: Think Globally, Act Locally
(Site Promotion)
By: Herman Drost

Many small businesses need to have an online presence and sell their products or services locally. For instance, doctors, dentists, real estate agents and restaurants can all benefit from online marketing but only on a local scale, not globally. In order to tap into the local market, however, it may be necessary to make some global changes to your website.

In order to target a website to a local market, it is important that 3 key areas be addressed:

  1. Global website text changes targeting local keywords
  2. Geographical meta tag implementation
  3. Getting indexed by Yahoo! Local

In regards to global website text changes, let’s take, for example the case of the Romeo Cuccina restaurant in Nowhere, Ohio. This family-owned Italian restaurant wants to be found by people in and around Nowhere, Ohio and by people traveling to this location. The body text of the Romeo Cuccina restaurant needs to contain the name Nowhere, Ohio, plus references to the surrounding towns and attractions along with its Italian restaurant keywords, which will also be scattered throughout the text. The title text and the H1 tag should also contain the words ‘Nowhere, Ohio’ as well. Making sure that these geographical keywords are in the text, names of the graphics and links will help this website do well in the search engines for local searches.

In regards to geographical meta tag implementation, this is simply a tag with the company name and address that will help establish a website locally. This tag can be used on the homepage, About Us page and / or Contact Us page as well. In our Italian restaurant example, the tag will look like this:

Now in regards to getting indexed by Yahoo! Local, it is important to know two things upfront. First, your business may already be indexed by Yahoo! Local so it is best to do a search first. Second, Yahoo! Local is now offering a free 5-page website to small business owners who want to establish a web presence. This promotion is to encourage business owners to get listed locally so that Yahoo! can continue to expand its map of businesses per region. If you find your business is already listed in Yahoo! Local, then check the information for accuracy since sometimes there are errors. These errors are easily corrected by going through the sign up process. For more information see

By using the 3 key methods listed above, your website will get a jumpstart in the local search arena. Also, don’t forget a link-building campaign as well since you’ll need a few relevant links pointing back to your website. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now!

This article was posted on Aug 5, 2005

About The Author
Herman Drost

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of Affordable Web Site Design and Web Hosting. Subscribe to his “Marketing Tips” newsletter for more original articles. Read more of his in-depth articles at:  

                                 Other Articles By Herman Drost


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