It should not come as a surprise that local search results have become more and more important in recent months, but today’s change by Google comes as a shock to all of us.  When we typed “San Diego Injury Attorney” into a Google search this afternoon, (October 26, 2010) we were surprised that the local maps section had gone from 20% of real estate on the 1st page of Google to 80%.

In addition to the Google Maps section now taking up 80% of real estate for geographic targeted search terms, we also see that Google has also enabled a scrolling Map on the right side.  The map will scroll down the screen over the pay per click ads on the right side of screen.  This week we saw the addition of the ability to select the location for your results on the left side of the Google search and this expanded local maps takes the importance of Google maps a GIANT step forward.

What this means for your business is that paying attention to Google’s guidelines for Search Engine Optimization is more important than ever.  Click Here to make sure that your website and internet marketing strategy are in line with Google’s rules:

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Google SEO Guide 2010 http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

Even though Google’s precise formula (‘algorithm’ for all you techies) maybe the world’s best kept secret, there are certain actions that have shown to produce results in a comprehensive internet marketing strategy for a business with a physical location office:
1.    Create a Google Places Page:  Google.com/places
2.    Get Reviews for your Google Places Listing from Satisfied clients
3.    Understand the most important keywords for your business by doing keyword research:  https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
4.    Configure Google Analytics to understand the RESULTS of marketing efforts:  Google.com/Analytics

Google is always improving their business with updated features such as the Local Maps update today, be sure to continually improve your business and stay on top of Google’s formula for online marketing success