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Close to Home Make the most of local search--and watch your sales soar.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Less than a year after signing on with of the growing number of local search engine optimization firms that include HubSpot, and others--Rocky Ricelli, 45, started getting calls from chain stores and property managers who operate in other states but need his services in the Detroit-area market he serves. They found his $5.5 million paving maintenance company, A & R Sealcoating Inc., by searching for some combination of his company's services and the town it's located in. "They never would have found me if we didn't pop up near the top when people search locally for someone who can repair potholes or fix [parking lot] striping," he says.

If you're ready to be the big dog in your local search segment, Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin, partners at Gravity Search Marketing and co-authors of Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day, offer this advice:

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