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Many of you reading this may be offering out your Internet marketing skills and services to local companies to help with their online and offline marketing.

The bottom line is this: you’ll only be able to charge for those services if you can demonstrate your skills are driving customers to your clients’ businesses.

Remember, SEO is SEO and the same rules apply, whether you’re optimizing a law firm or a pizza place. When you do SEO for offline businesses, however, there are some key differences in how it works. Since everyone is getting online to find local services, it’s more important than ever to optimize effectively.

Here are six basic tips to help you get started:

Use Lots Of Pictures

Websites that list local services always like lots of pictures. These don’t have to be professional-quality but they should show off the business’ assets. Aside from branding your client’s company, photos make them appear personable, and that’s even more important when offline businesses are doing local SEO.

That’s what people want to see when they visit a local business.

List Your Address and Phone Number

Displaying your client’s address and phone number adds to their local image and also build trust — and trust is really important. Make sure their address and number are listed on every page of your website. If they have more than one location, create a different page for each office, or have one page that lists all of the addresses.

List Their Web Address

The same goes for your client’s Web address. Make sure it’s displayed everywhere: in their brick-and-mortar store, on business cards and brochures, in television commercials etc. Get as many offline eyeballs to see it as possible and give them a little nudge, telling them to check out the business on the Web. Web-only promotions or special offers are also great for getting offline customers to visit the website.

Choose Their Keywords

In addition to the basic rules of SEO (knowing your target audience and what terms they’re looking for), target geographical location keywords as well. For example, target ‘plumber in Phoenix’ rather than just ‘plumber.’

These will have less competition. Get as location-specific as possible and test out a few different variations, like ‘plumber in Central Arizona’ or ‘Phoenix plumber.’

Claim And Monitor Their Listings

Find all sites that list their business and claim them. Look on Yelp, Bing Maps, Google Places, Yahoo Local, Trip Advisor, and any other sites where the business might appear. Do some searching and sign up with Google Alerts so you’ll find out when a new listing appears.

You can ‘claim’ each of these listings by visiting the site and verifying the contact information. For example, Google Places has a link at the top that says ‘Business Owner?’ When you click there, it takes you to the verification page. You can then edit and control the information in the listing.

Once you know where your clients are listed, keep an eye on the listings. Reputation is everything in local SEO, so reply to comments or reviews that appear there. If they get a negative review, respond professionally and thank them for the feedback. Show other visitors that your client listens to its customers.

Seek Positive Reviews

Negative reviews are downplayed when a business receives a lot of positive reviews. A simple way to do this is to ask. Most happy customers would love to get onto a review site and say something nice about the business. If you have trouble getting reviews, offer some kind of incentive like a coupon for a discount or a raffle to win a prize.

Toby Russell, Internet marketer, publisher and property investor offers tried and tested methods to help you succeed online.” Top Internet Marketer Reveals His Secrets” — FREE MP3 Download plus my popular FREE step-by-step 94 page Special Report. Available at =>

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