When people think about local search engine marketing, if they think about it at all, they generally assume that their regional search engine marketing is fine if they’ve remembered to add a few pages to their site that are optimized for their keywords plus the name of their city or location. For instance, a search engine marketing service might optimize by using the phrases, “Fort Myers SEO,” or “search engine marketing in Cape Coral.” That’s fine as a start, but you’re missing plenty of opportunities if you don’t extend your website marketing beyond this basic step.

Stay Global, But Optimize Locally

If you’ve made it to the first page of a Google search for your niche, congratulations! Getting to the front page of a major, international search engine is an impressive feat, but not everyone searching on Google lives in your area, which means only a small percentage of those who find you at the top of the list are located in a relevant area.

Be sure you’re taking advantage of the big names by using any available geographic targeting they might offer. Google, for instance, has geo-targeting for businesses that ensures you’ll rank high in searches for your region. Your search engine marketing dollars will go even farther if you use geo-targeting with all the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Don’t Neglect Regional Services

Not everyone uses the mega search engines to find what they’re looking for. A surprising number of people prefer to stick with regional search services because it eliminates the almost limitless businesses or services that aren’t close to them. Among the popular websites that automatically narrow searches down to specific regions are Yahoo Local, Yellowbook, and Merchant Circle. Because these services narrow down by region first, then focus on relevant SEO, you need to make sure your search engine marketing includes these services. Sites like Merchant Circle are particularly popular in certain areas because they’re very active, offer customer reviews, and highlight local businesses that may not show up on the first several pages of a nationwide search.

Take Advantage Of Location Centric Sites

FourSquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places all focus on location. Make sure your search engine marketing plan includes profiles with these sites. You may automatically show up on some of these sites, but if you don’t add relevant information and some good search engine optimization to the existing profile, you aren’t taking advantage of an ideal opportunity to improve your local presence with these powerful sites.

Some of the most popular location focused sites are popular because they’re either mobile applications or are mobile friendly. Optimizing your search engine marketing efforts on these apps has the added bonus of creating a presence for you on mobile phones. With millions of people every day using mobile apps to find businesses, you can garner impressive results with relatively inexpensive search engine optimization. One of the best mobile apps that you can use for regional search engine marketing is Avantar, the first true yellow pages app that garnered millions of followers based on its ability to give users accurate local information on anything from restaurants to law firms and everything in between.

Look For Undiscovered Directories

There are literally thousands of local directories, community bulletin boards, and other local websites that have small but loyal followings. Since these are small markets, you can post vital search engine marketing content on several of these pages for a reasonable price. If you get just a few new customers from each directory or local community page, you’ll soon realize just how good the return is on your regional search engine marketing investment can be by paying attention to small, local websites and directories.