There are billions of pages of content on the internet.   When you think about the sheer magnitude of content, it is pretty ambitious for a small business owner to hope to show up on page one of any search.   But it can be done with a concentrated effort.

A local vet probably won’t be on page one for the search term:  animal clinic, but since most people look for a vet within 3 miles of their home, it doesn’t matter.   The local vet wants to win searches that matter, searches by customers and prospects nearby. So how do you dominate local search?   It essentially boils down to three things : Relevance, Distance and Prominence

Three Keys to Local Search

  • Relevance: As a business owner you can control relevance by insuring that critical key words are in your copy.   However anticipating exactly the right words can be challenging as search strings become longer and longer.  The solution is to make sure your website contains all the variations (vet, veterinarian, animal doctor, animal clinic, pet doctor, cat doctor, etc)  This is where you blog comes in.  Your home page would be unreadable if you tried to stuff it with all the different combination of key words, but variety is the spice of life when it comes to your blog.   Each blog post gives you a chance to focus on different key words to make your overall website more relevant
  • Distance : When it comes to local search, be sure your address and city are clearly listed, along with your zip code on your site.   Then register for your Google places page, and encourage customers to write positive reviews.  Google has added a new feature to their places program.  Hubspot Hotpot which allows you to write and request reviews and positive rankings which in turn make your more prominent.
  • Prominence:  In the world of the internet, you are judged by what others say about you.   This is true as you try to dominate local search too.  Are people talking about you?  Do they check in on Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp.  Each mention of your business increases your prominence.  Local businesses can increase their relevance by offering rewards for check-ins or actively engaging with others on social media.

Are these three tricks enough to give you the number one spot?  That will depend on how competitive your term is, but they will certainly move you closer to the top!