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Local SEO refers to optimising how your business appears when a user searches on the Internet for your services in your locality.

There are several solutions to ensuring you have the highest quality local search engine optimisation (SEO), the top 5 solutions include:

  1. Claim your Google+ Local entry. Google Places used to be the feeder for Google Maps to include your business in searches. However since the launch of Google+ Local in May 2012, Google Places is in decline and Google+Local is not only showing business locations on maps, but also showing reviews and referrals. If you search for a business which one of your Google+ contacts has recommended, in theory, this business should be highlighted on your search with your friends review.  The perfect marriage of technology and personal recommendation.
  2. Manage your information across the Internet. Ensure your business data listed on information aggregation sites is correct (eg Truelocal.com.au or urbanspoon.com). Sometimes you may need to find out where they source their data and have that corrected first before it can be fixed on the aggregation site. For example, many sites source from original Yellow Pages telephone directories, these can be incorrect.
  3. Add local contact details: list at least a local land telephone line, especially if you don’t want ‘walk-ins’ to your business you may not want to put your full street address, at least a local phone number ensures those who want to do business with a local will feel comfortable calling you. Have a local physically mailing address listed also, this can be a PO box, but listing even that gives credibility to your local space.
  4. Encourage reviews- Good and bad, they show you are transparent, real and credible. Always ask for a review, put it on your order page, invoices, Facebook etc. If you genuinely seek feedback, you provide real information for future customers which improves the chances of you being picked up locally as well as giving you an opportunity to correct issues.
  5. A picture paints a thousand words- on your local site listings across the web include pictures. The sites will love you, your customers will know what to expect and everyone will benefit. You can upload different images to different sites highlighting parts of your offering which will most appeal to the target audience of each of the local search sites.

Whilst you cannot control every piece of information about your business which is available online, you can manage your local seo to maximise the outcome of local searches.