If you are a small business website owner and you have not been taking advantage of all that local search has to offer, you are definitely losing out to your competitors. Optimizing for local search is absolutely necessary if you want to drive targeted local traffic to your website.

If you are interested in optimizing for local search, you have to understand that it takes the same effort as more traditional SEO, which is still important. However, there are other things you need to do to boost your search engine rank locally.

Here are a few of the ways that you can make your website more local:

Use Google Places

If you have not already, you need to set up a Google Places account and fill out all of the information. Also be sure to include photos, coupons, product offerings, and videos. Don’t forget to use your keywords too.

Use Geo-targeted Keywords

Be sure to include any targeted city names in your title, meta tags and content. Also, make sure that “about us” and “contact us” pages target local keywords, as well.

Get Rated

Reviews and stars can go a long way, so be sure to encourage reviews with promotional offers and request feedback through social media, mailing lists, or anywhere else you can.

Get Social

Speaking of social media, make sure that you use it wisely. Because it is so community and relationship driven, it is a great tool for optimizing locally.

Get Local Links

When you get links from other local businesses (not competitors) it helps to build your local network online.

Get Listed

There are so many business directories out there that can give your business solid links to improve your ranking and make it easier for local searchers. Directories include Yelp, SuperPages, CitySearch, and so many more. Of course it is just as important to get listed on the websites of your Better Business Bureau and local chamber of commerce.

Go Mobile

People often use their mobile devices when searching locally, so be sure to have a mobile version of your site in place.

These are just a few of the ways to get your website optimized for local search. Of course, traditional advertising in the local newspaper does still matter as well. Just don’t forget to include your website address or Facebook page address in your ad!

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There are many factors involved in getting your website to rank well on the results pages of the major search engines. Whether you are attempting to boost your site's search engine ranking on your own, or if you are hiring outside help, there are a few basics that you need to know.

Consider the following tips that every business website owner needs to know.

1. Understand Anchor Text. The anchor text of the inbound links that point to a website are important because the search engines use anchor text to determine what a site is all about. Use targeted keywords in anchor text for maximum results.

2. Use keywords in title tags and meta tags. The weight that search engines give meta tags may be minimal, but it is still important to choose keywords relevant to each page, as it offers an effective way for search engines to categorize them, as well as a better idea of what the website is about.

3. Get lots of good links. The largest influencing factor for search engine ranking is the number and quality of links that are pointing to your website. The more quality links that point to a site, the more authority it will have.

4. Use a keyword in the domain name. Sure, the use of a targeted keyword in subdomains or dedicated pages will certainly help your SEO efforts, but using keywords in the root domain name is optimal.

5. Apply proper tags to page content. Be sure to use H1, H2, and H3 tags in headings and sub-headings.

6. Include an html and xml sitemap. Sitemaps make it easy for search engines to access all of a site's pages and index the site accordingly.

7. Make sure all images have an ALT text. An image alt text is read by search engines, so keywords should always be included in alt text. Images should also be named properly using targeted keywords.

Even the most basic SEO techniques like the ones listed above can be difficult and sound quite foreign to the average person. That is why it is important to consider hiring a professional SEO consulting firm to help you make the most of your online presence.

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Companies looking for data center services vary, depending on their familiarity with IT and data storage procedures. While some have experience and interest in the technical aspects of data storage, most don't have a clue when it comes to system options. But when you position yourself as a knowledgeable guide to your potential clients, you will be able to gain a competitive edge.

Consider the following steps to help effectively communicate the advantages of your service to potential customers and earn the respect of your industry peers.

Be Secure

Security is a major concern for most customers. Data service providers need to recognize that customers usually choose a dedicated data center because their information's security is vital and they wish to protect it. That is why it is important to have a communicable security protocol in place. In addition, physical security is just as important as software security.

Offer Your Knowledge

For success, it is important for data center owners and operators to be familiar with center operations and make it a priority to communicate that to customers.

Pay Attention to Location, Efficiency and Availability

Logistical concerns are often overlooked by data center owners and operators, but very important to clients. Customers want accessible locations, secure placement of hardware and, most of all, someone to talk to when they need help.

The common thread to data center success is communication, because having the best data storage system in the world means nothing if your clients don't trust you.

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