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There are no hard and fast rules and even if there were they would change but here are some things you need to begin to think about to bury your competition in local search game.
Title tags - Probably one of most important info on your page anyway so make sure your title reads something like "YOURFIRMNAME Kansas City's oldest bakery
H1 tags - Make sure that your keywords for your site and your geography have H1 tags - The Best Baked Brioche in Peoria, Il
Content - Add your address and phone number early and prominently (not a bad thing for every page really)
Meta tags - Opinions vary on usefulness of these but there are some tags that may gain usefulness depending on how search engines refine their methods. meta name="zipcode" content="64105,64113,64112,64110,64106,66207,66208,66210 meta name="city" content="Kansas City" meta name="state" content="Missouri, Kansas" meta name="ICBM" content="39.10246, -94.59009 City, State, and Zip code tags are pretty self explanatory but ICBM one is a bit out there but kind of cool too.
If you go to GEOUrl Address Server you can locate exact latitude and longitude of your business. That's what those two numbers after ICBM tag are. (Of course I think that is same system they use to target bombs.)
Linking - Make your internal links local friendly - Instead of "Remodeling Projects" use "Omaha Kitchen Projects"
DMOZ - The Open Directory Project is a directory of sites that are listed by human volunteers. It seems that getting listed here gives you high marks with search engines so you need to do it but make sure that you go for Regional listings all way down to your town. It is unlikely (and not very useful) that you will get listed for a broad category, particularly if you don't provide world-wide service. Go for poodle clipping section of your town and you will have better luck.
Other Directories - Another good reason to get listed in DMOZ for your town is that other local directories like Verizon's Smart Pages and SBC's Yellow Pages rely on these listing as well. By way, get listed in as many of these phone book type of directories like Smart Pages as you can. Some are free and there is speculation that initially big search engines will rely on these already built local directories.
There...that should keep you busy
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant based in Kansas City, Mo. He writes frequently on real world small business marketing tactics and is the creator of “Duct Tape Marketing” a turn-key small business marketing system. Check out his blog at http://www.DuctTapeMarketing.com/weblog.php - get these kinds of killer tips weekly by sending an email to mailto:email@example.com