Today, with private and personalized search, it’s more important than ever for online businesses to pay attention to these changes and incorporate them into their search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) strategy.

When any user signs into Google, then uses Google Search to locate something of interest the first results that show up are local before anything else. This means, regardless of what the user is looking for, your results may not come up first due to the fact that you’re not local to them, or due to the fact that you’ve not used local search terms.

* Know Your Objectives

* Set Goals

* Measure Results

Perhaps your goals are to get more customers, or leads, whatever your goals are, be sure to set specific goals and then measure the results after any local SEO campaign. If you don’t have a locally oriented business, it’s okay, surely you can still service or sell to the people who live near you. That’s always a good place to start with local search.

Every campaign must deal with the following:

* Building a Website — You probably already have one, but if you don’t, build the website with local search in mind. Appeal to your audience that lives in the location you want to attract.

* Building Links — You want links outside of your website to your website, this can happen due to your social media profiles, message board profiles, blog commenting, forum commenting, guest posting, online interviews and so forth.

* Creating Content — Create comment that takes location into mind, include the keyword terms that identify you as a business that deals with local people by naming your state and town.

* Using Social Media — Social media is imperative in today’s online marketing climate. Get involved with social media, like Facebook and LinkedIn.com for marketing locally.

First, get a handle on the keywords you want to use to enhance local search for your area. For instance if you want to help local people learn how to work from home, you can simply use the phrase work from home in your state or your town with in the content, within the article or blog post titles, and you can be sure to put the address of your business on every page of your website.

Go to all your social media and update the profiles to include your name, address, and phone number. These are essential to doing business locally and attracting local search. If you are using a non-local number, you might want to consider acquiring a local phone number because that is what makes those who want to do business locally most comfortable but also the local number identifies you as that location.

Get listed in local directories such as the Yellow Pages, the Chamber of Commerce, and on industry sites as well. Get listed on Yelp.com, local.yahoo.com, Citysearch.com, FourSquare.com and others. If you want to host local events, start a Meetup.com group, or list any local site that announces events in your area. Start going to local events.

While some of these ideas might not seem like SEO or SEM it is. Anything that can get your business mentioned in context with its location is a win for local search engine marketing. By doing all of these things you should start showing up in SERPS within 60 to 90 days. Since local search is the first type of search that your market sees, give it a try and see if incorporating local search into your SEM doesn’t improve traffic and conversions.

Local SEM Imperative for All Online Businesses
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