This subject surprises many website owners and yet it should be obvious.
Even if you have an international audience, it's crucial to let your customer base know where you are.
Search Engines are more likely to deliver SERP's for a targeted search with better results if your website states the country of origin. People in the UK searching for a UK based service will quite likely include locality in their search, especially if the first search yields results abroad.
Also, a domain name relevant to your country assists this immensely. Don't make the mistake of purchasing a cheap domain name because it comes with a cheap hosting package in the back of beyond.
If you have a UK business, get a .co.uk domain name if you can. A Canadian TLD (top level domain) will serve you poorly if your business is in the UK. (No offence to any Canadians...)
Furthermore, although not the problem it was, hosting out of country has an negative effect especially if you've neglected to announce where you are in the world.
This particularly comes into play for the 'Local Business' such as a plumber or veterinarian.
If your pages are not optimised local searches, you'll just be lumped in with the millions of SERP's for ALL the plumbers, vets etc with a website.
State where you are in your page content and title tag: 'Joe Bloggs Plumbers in Middlesbrough covering the Teesside, Stockton, Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland areas'.
A search for 'Hartlepool Plumbers' now has this key phrase in the title, description and content of the page and is far more likely to rank effectively than without.
This is so important for any business. If you customers don't like your standards of service, they are now likely to write about it in the Social Networks or Forums.
Getting your customers to write well meant passages and comments about you, with that crucial link back to your website works wonders.
Get your clients to link to you from their own website, Linked In or Facebook etc. Try to ensure that the link to you is a key phrase: 'Our central heating was fixed by Joe Blogs Plumbers of Middlesbrough and what a fantastic job they did. We highly recommend Joe Bloggs Plumbers'.
The comment above is a first class link back to your website. Anyone reading it would be impressed. The search engines will also find it and note the weight of the links and key phrases.
You may well need to advise your customer of how to phrase the link for best effect.
The Social Metrics are one of the fastest and well respected aspects for good SEO today.
If you have a website, chances are that you'll have a Facebook Page as well. Make sure you have a Linked In, Twitter and others all set up to look and represent your website where possible.
Use them to do more than post funny comments. Write short passages about what your business has done this week. Post a link back to your page/s. Make sure it's an 'anchor text link'.
Get people to 'Like' your comments on Facebook because ALL their friends can now see your comments as well.
The Social Networks is a Must Have..!
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