Question: How do I refine search engine optimization efforts to target a local audience?
Answer: As search engines continue to grow in complexity, forcing users to sift through longer lists of online destinations, the ability to generate search results based on geographic location has become increasingly attractive. To optimize your Web site for local search efforts:
Place your company address and ZIP code on the site, preferably on the home page;
Include geographically oriented keywords and phrases in the title, description and keyword tags of your site;
Ensure that your company information is carried by online directories such as Super Pages, which are tapped by larger engines.
Additionally, take a look at the local search guide from the Yellow Pages Association (www.local searchguide.org). It offers valuable advice on search engine marketing for local advertisers, including information about online directories, local search services from major search engines and search advertising tools.
The most important step is determining what keywords your target audience will use to find your products and services and properly optimizing your site for these terms.
Jim Grinney is a principal with 90octane, Denver. He can be reached at jimgrinney@ 90octane.com.