I'm working with a local business that has a storefront and an online catalog selling wine, and they're wondering how they can best improve their search engine results.
If you search for their actual business name, they're the top link returned, but if you merely put in something generic like 'wine' and the city name, they're sitting way back on the fourth page of results. They're not trying to compete with large wholesalers, but they would like greater exposure for when people search for local wine retailers.
What can they can do to improve their local search results? Would the most impact come from having their name and URL published on other sites that specifically focus on their geographic area? (Such as sites that do local business reviews or focus on local events such as wine tastings?)
I'm not an expert in SEO, so I would appreciate any feedback or ideas that I could pass on to them. Thanks!
The things you can get started on right away are:
After you have the site in shape:
The quickest thing you can do is get them on Google Places. It is a localised search and appears above search results anyway. The answer from Lloyd is good for SEO and you should follow those tips, but they will take time to eventuate. Google Places is a free way to get traffic through quicker.
I wrote a blog post on it here http://www.cliniko.com/blog/87/get-more-clients-with-google-places-its-free/
Well lots of things panning out here. I would suggest you first have a very good guide written by Google on SEO. Local search is one thing and generic search is another thing ( don't confuse them ).
For Local search, i would suggest you lookup this post by Bruce Clay which neatly explains what you need to do for optimization for local based keywords.