Here are some points that came out of a recent discussion with a colleague. We were talking about how local search optimization works, and how valuable it can be to most businesses.

1. The primary purpose of having a website and engaging in marketing is to be found online. Even more importantly – to be found in your local market!

2. Avoid spending lots of monies on pay-per-click advertising. Focus on organic results.

3. Local business searches are driven by external directories and databases, as well as your website. Linking is critical to success.

4. Search engines weigh external directories and data sources as more important than information retrieved on teh actual page.

5. You want your companies name, address, phone number and description easily accessible to all search eninges. I highly recommend having your name/address/phone number at the bottom of every page — not in an image, but as easily consumable content.

While there are hundreds of key things to do to affect your placement in the search engines, the above few are important for everyone to consider.