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December 3rd, 2013

Get Found Locally

Have you ever searched for a local company and get confused by the myriad of search results that show up? There was a time when you could search online and your results would generate local business's for you to contact.

Now, when  you search, the first page of Google may only have 1 or 2 local business websites that will show up. The large online directories have been dominating search results in a way that can be annoying when you are just trying to find a local company to do business with.

A typical page in Google's search results will yield three main areas. The top area (and side area) is the paid ad area, then the main content area and within the main content area you will have the third area which is Google+ Local.

Typically, the top and side paid area will be shaded slightly so that you can tell that it's the paid area (even though it can be hard to see sometimes. You really have to look close to see it). This is Google's way of generating money for itself by selling these placement ads that will insure that your website is at the top of Google. This can be a relatively inexpensive way to be found up high on Google but the costs can add up quickly if you don't monitor your activity. (Google does allow you to set your daily spending limits but sometimes just one click can use up your daily allowance which means you are done for that day and your website will not show up again until the next day). This is one way to be found on the first page of Google but not the best way! People tend to distrust those paid ads (since they are paid after all and haven't worked or earned their way to the front page of Google by their relevancy!!).

So, being found organically is by far the best way (and normally the cheapest way in the long run). SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the term used for the work that is done to increase your website's relevancy which will in turn get it climbing up the search result's ladder. The main content area will be the organic search results (I will speak more on this at a later date).

Today we focus on Google+ Local. The local search result area. Google will find your website and display it here if the address for your company is physically located in the city which was searched for. For example: if someone searches for "website creation company highland mi". Then hopefully every website creation company that has their physical address in Highland Michigan will be listed in the "Local" area in the search results that are displayed.

Ideally you would like to get listed first in this partitioned area. Good optimization of your Google+Local listing will get you listed first or at least up high on this list (it is not alphabetical). There are a number of things you can do to optimize your Google+Local area.

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