Got a SEO question from my cousin Paul last week that I feel represents a fairly common question coming from SMB owners about how to get their site found on Google.  Republishing the question and response (with identifying details removed), since this is sound SEO techniques that apply to just about any small business owner in any niche who is trying to increase their exposure within their locality.


Hi Jeff,

I have a business partner that set up a website and he is unclear how to get more " meta tags " for his site.
Can you give me a quick explanation of what he should tell his web designer to do in order to get more web hits in general.

Let me know.
Thanks dude.


Hey Paul,

From browsing the site, I can see that there are quite a few techniques they could do to improve.  Most of it doesn't have to do with Meta Tags, since they are no longer given much authority by search engines to determine rankings.  I would say that the biggest opportunity this site has to capitalize on the search engines is to optimize the site for local search.  As you have probably noticed recently on Google, they are really pushing localized listings in the search results, and this will be an even bigger trend in the future.

When it comes to local rankings, the biggest technique site owners can do on their site is to make sure they Google can tell that it's local!  This involves listing your physical address on the site in plain text (which they do well currently), making sure that all of the page titles and headlines contain your city name AND relevant keywords, and just overall making it quite clear from the content on your site that you do XXX work in YYYY city.

In this case, they need to do a better job of saying that they do Real Estate Management in New York City.  On the home page, there is no mention of this (it's in the header image, but that's not actual readable text by Google).  The key is to mention what you do and the city you do it in as many times as possible without overloading the page with keywords and making it look like you are trying to game the system.  The content on the site needs to make sense as well, because otherwise nobody will click on the search results in the event that these text changes actually do improve their rankings.

Of equal importance for local search is to register their business/web site with all of the local business sites available on the web and create a profile.  There are hundreds of thousands of these sites, and they all contribute to improving local rankings with Google.  They also provide a bonus of driving traffic and phone calls directly from the local business listing .  Currently, here are the top 10 they should target:

1. infoUSA
2. Superpages
3. Localeze
4. YellowPages
5. Yelp
6. InsiderPages
7. Niche Industry Sites (BBB, Vertical Directories)
8. Acxiom
9. Yahoo
10. Citysearch

Business listings should also have city and keywords clearly written, and provide other useful and distinguishing information about the business.

This should be enough to get them started... let me know if they would like a personal consultation.

- Jeff

P.S. For those of you looking for more information about Google Maps and their Local Business Center, check out this new video that Google recently published on the topic: