Local search marketing has become the best and most cost effective way for businesses to reach out to targeted customers in their geographical area. As consumers have abandoned old staples such as the Yellow Pages, they have gravitated towards local search on the web in order to make decisions on where to shop, dine, and buy.
The true beauty of local search marketing is that a typical business' competition for search engine rankings is limited to the targeted region, city, county, etc. This means that front page exposure on the search engines is both a possibility and a reality for businesses, regardless of their size or available manpower.
Assuming you already have a website up and running, the first thing to do on your local search marketing task list is to claim your listings at Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing, and Yelp. There are more sites where you may want to claim your listings but these are the major players in the game. Upon your arrival at these sites you may find that there is already a listing for your company but you'll still need to claim the listing in order to make modifications and add information to the site. In addition to general information, these sites allow for pictures, video, coupons and promotions.
Next, make sure to place your company's address as well as a local phones number on each page. This reinforces your local positioning with both the search engines and visitors on your site. If you're not using the footer on your site's pages, the address and phone number can be placed there.
Congratulations! You have completed two of the major steps to launch your local search marketing.