Local search is not quite the same as organic search. Where for many years the preferred anchor text in links has been keyword orientated, local search is less keyword-based and more business or website name orientated. For local search, a link with your business name is often of more value than a link with a related keyword. In fact, there are many stories around suggesting that keywords in links are no longer the ideal – but that’s a story for another time.
When you think about local search, you have a distinct advantage over organic search. You can tell the search engines all about your business. In Google Places, for example, you can provide your official business name, your address, and your telephone number. You can also add tags and place your business into a category. With organic search, your search engine optimization program needs to use keywords to ensure the search engines know what your pages are all about.
The bottom line is this: Search engines don’t need anchor text to tell them about your business – you’ve already done that. Links that are in your business name have far more value than those with keywords as your anchor text. Add address details to the text around your business name, and you further reinforce your local search rankings. Local search is all about being local.
The more often your business is linked back to your site where your address is in plain view, or at the very least your town or region, the better. Are you pushing keywords in all your anchor text for local search? Try modifying some of your links to include your business and your town – or the service you provide and the town.
Local search is all about being local so shout your presence from the rooftops – or at least, from the friendly pages around you.