How many times have you heard the saying: “Location is Everything?” Personally, I couldn’t answer that question because I don’t think I could count that high. The truth is–Location is everything! Where you stand (or sit) at this very moment partially defines who you are and has an impact on your life. Whether you think about it or not your location is a part of everyday life. Where you work, live, eat, shop and play are all determined by what is local.

It is crucial that your online presence is accurately displayed to ensure visitors know how to find you or your business when searching the web. With that in mind, I thought I would provide you with seOverflow’s top 10 Tips for Google Local Optimization success.

1. Claim your listings – More often than not we notice that businesses will claim their listing and focus their attention on optimizing that listing. However, if you perform various searches for your business name, phone number or address you will see that there are duplicate listings. Claim those listings too.

2. Name, Address & Phone Number (NAP) – Do a couple of searches and you should see your Google Local profile show up each time. If you notice duplicates, claim them. But if you see the same one over and over, then you’re doing better than most. It is essential to pick the NAP that is most commonly used and optimized with that in mind. Ensure that you have updated your website and Place page to reflect this common address. Be very careful that you display it exactly as you have seen it, all the way down to St. or Street. Google likes consistency!

3. Categories – Choose the most accurate Categories that define what your Business is. There are hundreds. Choose wisely and choose from the categories they provide. Try to choose the categories that will garner the most traffic for your related services. If you have custom categories save that for the Additional Details section.

4. Description – Provide Google+ Local with a well-written description of your business. Keep in mind that you should do your best not to include any Name, Address or Phone number in your description as this may look spammy to Google.

5. Service Area or Brick & Mortar? – An essential question you must ask yourself when you are completing your Google Local Optimization: Do I service clients at my location OR do we provide services in an area? If you have clients come to your location then you will want to pinpoint your exact location on the map. Double check the map for accuracy. But if you only provide services at your clients home or office then you will want to provide the map with your service area. By making this distinction you are ensuring Google will display your business. We have seen companies dropped from the listings due to inaccurate info.

6. Coupon or Offer – In the Google Local interface, Google has given you the ability to provide a coupon to your customer base. Do so! Provide your customer base with an easy to use coupon. It doesn’t have to be the deal of the century. Really this is just one other ranking factor in local SEO. Ensure you use it!

7. Photos – There are many tactics to employ with images before uploading them to Google Local. 1. File names – change your image file names to integrate a keyword. 2. Right-click on the image and choose the properties. Fill out every detail you can. 3. Latitude & Longitude – By pinpointing your location in Google Earth you can find the Latitude and Longitude of your location. Add this to every image.

8. Videos – Google gives you 5 slots for videos. We suggest you use every one. If you don’t have any, do a search in YouTube for videos in your area and choose the one that has the most views. Also, do the same for videos in your related field. This will prompt Google to acknowledge that you have video presence even though you may not have any specifically about your business.

9. Additional Details – This is a great place to get specific with your business offerings. Couldn’t find the right category, this is the place to present those details. This is also a great place to integrate those keywords you were hoping to rank for. Don’t abuse this and follow the instructions, but feel free to use those keywords to define these details. Also, a great place to add that Latitude and Longitude again!

10. Don’t leave it blank – The most important thing you can do when optimizing your listings is to fill it out 100%. Leaving fields blank is a missed opportunity!

Please feel free to tap into your SEO specialist with our Local SEO Checklist. Google Local can be a daunting hill to climb but with a few tips and some clean up you should be well on your way to making your Location Everything!