As a local business owner, you've probably felt the impact of consumer portals, review websites and deal of the day platforms. And with so many choices, managing your presence online is challenging. You've probably built a website and created a local profile, but you're still not bringing in enough profitable customers. What's more, customers move away, die or just stop buying.

You've got to maximize local search to replace these lost customers with new ones.

Follow these simple steps to improve your placement on local search:

First, log in to your Google Places account and triple-check your listing's information for accuracy. Scan for inconsistencies. The name of your business should match the legal name of your business, the address should maintain ironclad consistency with your phone company listings.

Second, snap a few photographs of the outside and inside of your location, and then upload into your Google Places account.

Third, search Blumenthal's category tool, and return to your Google Places account, listing your business in as many relevant categories as possible.

Finally, visit your website. Look in the footer or bottom section. If you don't have your business name, address and phone number here, edit the page to include it, or fire off an email to your Webmaster to get this done.

As a bonus, head over to infogroup's Express Update and claim and update your free business listing. This portal powers a significant number of other local search engines, so if the data's right here, you stand a good chance of it being propagated across local search.

Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way to success with local search.

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