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In this course, search engine optimization (SEO) expert Peter Kent walks step-by-step through the process of reviewing the content and markup of an existing web site to improve its ranking in search engine results. This course offers a consultant's take on how to analyze each component—from keywords to content to code—and determine what improvements are necessary to become more visible to search engines like Yahoo!, Bing, and Google.
This course was updated on 10/12/2012.
If location is important to your web site, if your site advertises a brick- and-mortar store of some kind, for instance, then there are other things to consider. You may want to make sure that the search engines know where your business is located, that they can associate your web site with that particular location. First, you might want to use the geo meta tags. Google says it doesn't use these tags, but reportedly Bing does. And as you can create the tags very quickly and easily, you might as well do so and put them into the top of each page.
Search for 'geotag generators' and you'll find services such as geo-tag.de. This site lets you pick a location on a map and in return, the system gives you the tags. Simply copy and paste into your pages. What next? Well, make sure you put your address into every page in your site, including the zip code. Make sure the address matches exactly the address you're using in the local directories we'll be looking at in the next video. A good place to put the address is in the footer of every page, but you should also have the address high up on top of the page somewhere, too, maybe even in the header, in readable text of course--not just an image--or in an h1 tag.
You'll also want to have a Contact us or location page for each of your locations. If you have five different locations, create five different pages, and get the address information, along with the type of business, into all the important areas: the title tag, an h1 tag, even the URL. Make sure you include keywords related to your business on the Contact us page. Many companies have pages with keywords but without location information, then pages with location information but without keywords.
You need to combine both on the same pages. Of course, many businesses serve multiple locations. If you're a plumber, for instance, you may be in, say, Denver, but you may also serve Lakewood and Wheat Ridge, so you may also want to get information related to those areas into your site. Some people put where-we-serve paragraphs into their footers, containing the names of these areas. That's fine, but don't overdo it. For instance, I sometimes see people creating a list of every tiny little neighborhood in their metro area, ending up with a huge list of location names.
That's not good because to a search engine, it looks just like a list of keywords. So it may not be given as much weight, but is also not necessary, because people don't search in combination with every little neighborhood name. Someone may search for 'Denver plumber' or 'plumber Lakewood', for instance, but they're not likely to search using neighborhood location terms, such as plumber Burnham, plumber Sun Valley. So you really don't need to list the names anyway. You'll end up with a much smaller list that won't seem as obvious to search engines.
Zoom out and the little neighborhood names disappear, leaving more significant terms, the terms more likely to be searched on. You may even want to create several location pages, each optimized for a specific town or suburb. Don't simply create one page, then copy it, and change the city name; each page must contain different content. Finally, don't forget about location terms when you're creating links, both inside your site and outside. If you're a plumber in Lakewood, you need links with 'plumber' or 'plumbing' and 'Lakewood' in the anchor text.
Local search results are becoming more and more important as the search engines try to make their results more relevant. If you want to appear in the search results for these types of searches, you can't ignore local optimization.
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