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Winston Salem SEO : Tips to Improve Your Local Search Rankings in Google

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By Triad SEO in : Search Engine Optimization, Winston Salem SEO // Oct 22 2010

The Web is going local and location based targeting is becoming more important. Webmasters need to pay attention to their search engine ranking around specific geographical location to realize the meaningful chunk of local traffic that often has low competition. This can offer a massive boost for local service providers like lawyers or doctors.

Without further ado, let’s get right to the practical application and optimization methods. Here are some tips on how to optimize your website to improve your local rankings in Google –

1. Get into Google’s heart of the local ranking algorithm by submitting your web site to Google Local Business Center. You ought to also look for other local business listings e.g. Google Base and other non-Google properties and add your web site’s details to them.

2. Use the name of your locality along with the main key phrase as anchor texts for incoming links. For example, if you are a Winston Salem based Search Engine Optimization Company and if you want to optimize your site around Winston Salem, use keywords like Winston Salem Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimization Winston Salem.

However, don’t overdo it. Try not to have more than 60% of all links to a page have the valid same anchor text. There’s indeed such a thing as over optimization filters and penalties.

3. Make|Be} certain  to optimize page content around your locality. Include your city, state and zip code in the page you want to rank locally. Normally speaking, if you want to rank for something, it must be located somewhere on that page.

There are, of course, ways to rank for terms that are non-existent on your pages via off page link building, but that is a more advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technique. So start with the basics and make sure to add your most pertinent information to a obviously identifiable area.

4. Make|Be} certain  to use the city name and abbreviation of the state in the title or description tag. Pages are interpreted and indexed with the intitle, inanchor and intext, so understanding this provides one more unique opportunity to construct your pages in accordance to standards which are known to affect how search engines rank and respond to your content.

The above local targeting approach isn’t to be confused with geo-targeting across countries. A different but common ranking problem is to know how to successfully target international Google engines e.g. how to rank a .com site in google.co.uk. Here are some tips, but more on this subject at a later date –

1. Purchase a country specific TLD. A .com TLD is good from user’s perspective but .co.uk is a better option for the Google to understand that you’re trying to geo-target the UK.

2. Sign in to Google Webmaster Tool and set your preferred geo location [tools > overview > Be certain to set geographic target]. This would give a clear indication to Google where you actually want to target. This is more important when you’re using .com or .org TLDs and want to concentrate on another country but the USA.

Nevertheless, it is still preferred to use a country specific TLD when you want to be certain about targeting a specific geographical niche. But in that case, you mightn’t get the opportunity of going global with your domain.

3. Host your domain in the country you are targeting. When Google can’t decide from #1 and #2 above where to rank you they will sometimes track the IP location to find out the geo ranking of a web site.

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