Local SEO Strategies: The importance and power of local search is growing all of the time. This is true for businesses of all sizes, both small and large. However, the biggest impact of utilizing local search strategies is likely to be on those businesses that are truly local, aiming to satisfy customers in their community and build their client base in this area.
At the same time, smaller and local businesses are often the ones that know less about search. This can be especially true for those companies that have traditionally earned business through leafleting or a listing in a paper business directory. Local search can be hugely beneficial for such businesses if they have suddenly started to see a drop in enquiries; this is probably the reason why. That said, everyone could benefit from investing some time into ensuring they are optimized for local search.
5 Local SEO Tips
We explored five top tips of local SEO for ensuring you get the results you need.
Local SEO Tips #1: Get Registered
All of the major search engine providers have a business listing and directory of some description. Google Places or Google My Business is the most powerful, but you need to remember that there are other search engines out there. After all, what control do you have over which search engines your potential customers use? Ensuring that you have verified yourself with these search engines will ensure they are happy to provide you with a genuine listing.
Local SEO Tips #2: Look at Local Websites
One of the biggest factors in link building is the relevance of the link. Therefore, it is crucial that you look to build links on local websites, whether that is the town business directory, the regional newspaper’s website, or just a community forum specific to your area.Taking this course of action helps to persuade the search engines that you are important and highly valued in your area. They will feel the same and rank you higher accordingly.
Local SEO Tips #3: Prepare for Landing
Whether you select a specific landing page to optimize and focus on, or go all out across the whole site with your contact details, you need to ensure you have as much information on there as possible.We’d recommend the last option; as if your contact details are on every page it is clear to the search spiders that they are important to you. In addition, try something like schema to direct the spiders to the most important information on your page.
Local SEO Tips #4: Be Specific
The trick to success with local search is getting the focus area as small as possible.Say you are in New York City. Going for Manhattan, for example, or even Lower Manhattan, is probably too wide an area. Tribeca, SoHo, or Hudson Square is an idea of how specific you need to be. Ensure this is included in your content, page descriptions, tags, titles, and anything else.
Local SEO Tips #5: Across the Board
For the best success, ensure that you’re submitting the same information to every directory, and what you do matches your website. For example, targeting Tribeca on some, Lower Manhattan on some, and Manhattan on others doesn’t strengthen your position, it just dilutes your impact. Make a splash with local search and you give yourself a great opportunity to succeed. Don’t waste the chance to do so!
How to do SEO for Google local Business
Related reading: How to optimize Google My Business Listing
Top 3 Ways to Ace Local SEO
For local businesses and companies, the local SEO scene is their domain of work. Unless they can tap into the local market through SEO, they will not realize their dreams of thinking beyond the horizons.
In this regard, there are some simple steps that you can take as a local business to ace the SEO scene. These steps are even more helpful if you are startup looking to get a toehold in the local market. Read on!
The first step towards launching a successful campaign to grab local SEO leverage is to check where you stand and what strategies will work for you. You can begin by conducting a search on your own brand. Combine the brand name with that of the city from where you are working or based in. The search results should rank you within the first 7. If that happens, you can conclude that you need to work on link building and other traditional SEO practices to rank. You can also be assured that the job will be easier for you. In the case that you are not ranked within the top 7, you need to look at the next step outlined here.
Try to get your business listed under as many local listings as possible. You must include your name, address and phone number (NAP). Local search algorithms will index your brand favorably if they find you listed on as many local listings as possible. Another advantage of being on the local listings is that you will get the business of local consumers who check up these local lists for contacts to get work done. You must keep in mind that the information that you provide, like NAP, must be accurate. Otherwise, you will end up missing out on local business.
It is easier to rank in the local searches for a city where your business is actually based in. Google and other search engines provide extra credit to local businesses when they find the address of your company matching the city with the location mentioned in the search. In technical parlance, this is called ‘centroid’ bias. However, if your business is located outside the city, you will find it tougher to hit the top search results.
7 Local SEO Tools You Need to Be Using
The spotlight on local SEO has gone significantly brighter now that more small businesses and entrepreneurs have made targeting specific regions a priority. Luckily, there are several options available to those who are serious about increasing their visibility on the local front. These are 7 great local SEO tools you can’t go wrong with — if you put them to use.
Whitespark is among the leading providers in the market of premium SEO tools. However, it has some affordable solutions, and the free version of Local Citation Finder is one of them. Local Citation helps you find the best place to list your business with the overall goal being to improve your local rankings. Simply enter your location and target keyword, and it will deliver a report suggesting the best citation resources according to the entry.
The free version of Local Citation is mighty handy as it permits up to three searches a day, but you can remove those limitations by upgrading to Pro for a few bucks a month.
Here’s a tool that puts the power of automation in your hands. Yext Powerlistings automatically updates your business details across over 50 of the top local search engines, including MapQuest, Yahoo Local, and Yelp. These updates may include the addition of new photos, descriptions, and promotions, on top of basic info such as name, business location, and phone number.
You can scan the web for existing listings at no cost, but keep in mind that this is a subscription-based tool. Despite that aspect, Yext Powerlistings is a nice tool that can help you save a lot of time.
Local Report Card
Created by the SEO experts at DIYSEO, Local Report Card is designed to help you understand your visibility across local search engines. This tool uses keywords, type of business, industry, and even objectives as metrics that allow you to get a better feel for where you stand. Friendly (and unfriendly) emoticons — green smiley faces, and red sad faces, give you a quick assessment of what areas you’re excelling in, and where improvements need to be made.
Local Report Card is currently being tested in beta, but is free and seems to be getting great feedback.
Brought to you by BrightLocal, another leading provider of premium local SEO tools, Local Search Rank Checker is similar to Local Report Card, yet even better in some ways. With this tool, you receive access to a report that provides a comprehensive view of your rankings, including those in both local and standard search engines. Moreover, it allows you to compare existing rankings against previous rankings, so you can grasp how your strategy is performing as a whole.
Local Search Rank Checker is a part of BrightLocal’s premium package, which you can test drive with a free 30-day trial.
Google Local SEO Checklist
Created by internet marketing firm 51 Blocks, Google Local SEO Checklist can help bolster your local SEO efforts in several ways. One of its main features is the ability to generate a KML file, a format that is used to display geographical data in earth browsers like Google Earth and Maps. Simply enter the name, location, and website of your business, and it automatically creates a GEO sitemap and KML file on your behalf. The sitemap and KML file are uploaded to the root directory of your site, and then verified in Google Webmaster Tools.
Google Local Toolbox is ideal for making sure your site is fully optimized for savvy local searchers.
This tool can be found on 5minutesite.com, which specializes in free websites for small businesses. Local Keyword Generator lets you create a list of keywords that help you determine what geographical areas you should be focusing on. By entering the zip code your business is located in, the radius you want to cover, and a keyword or phrase, you can get a list of the keywords that best match your area.
Local Keyword Generator is free to use, and even works for those looking localize their PPC campaigns.
SEOprofiler is a full featured website promotion tool that offers SEO tools for keyword research, web page optimization, link analysis, link building, ranking checks, SEO audits, website monitoring, website analytics, and much more. Improve your rankings and get more customers.
Brands with fewer locations have to balance the importance of working online with the urgency of their day-to-day. Moz Local does the hardest work for you, letting you spend more time with your customers.
SEOPressor plugin gives you maximum SEO clarity on your WordPress sites with a host of customization & optimization features designed for controlling SEO with ease.
Increase brand awareness, customer acquisition, and loyalty with one AI-powered platform.
Build Relationships. Build Buzz. Research influencers, manage your relationships, and conduct outreach that’s personalized and efficient.
Structured data is a way for search engine machines to make sense of content in your HTML. Google and other search engines created a structured data standard called Schema.org. Often these Schema elements trigger specialized SERP features and Rich Cards that can increase the amount of click through
Choose the right keywords The right keywords can get your ad in front of the right customers, and Google Ads Keyword Planner is here to help.
Tools to grow your search traffic, research your competitors and monitor your niche Ahrefs helps you learn why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do to outrank them.
Use customer feedback to act today and predict tomorrow. Easy, powerful review software
Plagiarism check tool. Search for copies of your page on the web.
Generate LSI Keywords That Google LOVES Get the most profitable semantically related keywords for all your SEO & paid marketing need.
Make your web pages fast on all devices
Local SEO is deservingly on the rise. With tools like these at your disposal, you can make sure it helps boost your visibility, traffic, and business performance.
Local Search Optimization Tips
How to improve your local SEO
Does your business serve the local customers? If yes, does your business have local listing? Having a local listing is extremely essential for small businesses to attract more number of local visitors, something which they can hardly afford to miss.
Yellow pages have become old school now and have been replaced by search engines, which consumers use constantly for looking products and services you offer. As a result, local search optimization have become a buzz word for online marketers, a fact no-one can risk overlooking these days.
The bottom line of local SEO is similar to that of traditional search engine optimization. Both require similar dedication and online marketing strategies. However, in local SEO you need to focus more on your niche market.
About us and Contact page with local address
To begin with, your first step will be to target your local terms the About Us and contact pages. Include your detailed contact info along with your business hours and directions will make it easier for customers to locate your business. Better yet, you can reinforce your location with such information. But make sure you give as detailed information about your business as possible.
Use Geo Targeted Keywords on Website
Secondly, optimize your business website for geo-targeted keywords. Including the name of your city or town in the title, content, Meta tags and H2 tags of your website will result in better local search ranking. For example, you have a beauty salon in Fork, Washington. Use geo-targeted keywords like “Beauty salon in Fork, Washington” or “Fork, Washington Beauty salon” in your content to make it more and more specific. If you have multiple business locations, create different landing pages for each and every location and optimize them with proper keywords.
Create Profile on Google My Business
Claim your profile on Google Places, if you haven’t already. Also, create your profile on Yahoo Local and Bing Local. It is recommended to fill out all your information in details, including your business address, description, product offerings, photos, videos, and coupons. And don’t forget to optimize the business description with targeted keywords.
Create local business profile on local yellow pages
Upload your site in the major local sites listing services and do give some good pictures of your business. It could be a picture of your products/ services, a picture of the building where you are located, your interior and your own. Make sure you give more than one picture to create a visual impact on the potential clients. Also, make sure these photos are decent, even if they are not professional, as these images will represent your business.
Get online reviews
Online reviews are very essential for any kind of businesses. As a local business you know the value of word-of-mouth marketing. Online reviews are almost similar where exiting customers write about their experience with your products or services.
So if you are confident about your products or services, don’t forget to ask the consumers to review you on the local sites. Positive reviews along with shiny yellow stars help to build credibility. Unfortunately, if you receive negative reviews, don’t overlook it; rather, take it as a challenge and try to solve the matter at the earliest and ask the now-happy customer to say something good about your business.
Tools for Local SEO other than Content Marketing
For the last couple of years, we are being fed on a steady diet of content marketing by the SEO pundits in the business. The writing is on the wall like never before: compromise on content, bring destruction to your SEO.
The big brother of the SEO world, Google, is also playing up the importance of content with a slew of directives and algorithm mutations to strengthen the role of the content writer. However, at a local SEO level, with a strong dearth of good ghost writers, it can actually be possible for you to launch a SEO drive without content marketing. Yes, it can be done! How? Let’s find out!
Research conducted on online users have established beyond doubt that other than content, there are three items which arrest their attention: web utilities, online communities and internet games. In fact, many skip over the content part and try out the utilities or discuss matters on forums and discussion boards. Some are content with online games that keep the stress levels low.
For your local SEO, you can make use of these three items and build up your SEO effort revolving around them. You may ask here that how can you develop web utilities without an expensive budget. The answer is: to develop, sustain and popularize a blog will prove more taxing on your expenditure balance than developing web utilities!
Secondly, the importance of online communities are there for every to watch and learn. Look at what social media is doing for the local scenario! Use it to your advantage. Offer local online users to share and exchange information on your page! Give them that platform where they can meet and discuss things. Engage them in meaningful thought sessions and act as a responsible moderator. You will achieve two aims through this: boost up SEO ratings and also online branding of your products or services.
Thirdly, developing and designing online games is no complex matter anymore. With technology around, it is pretty easy to develop user-friendly games that complement your products and services. Think creative! Online games are addictive and very shareable. Once you build up a game worth spending time on, users will bring in their friends and hang out on your page. It will be excellent news for your brand and far more effective than content marketing.
The Face of Local SEO Campaigns after 2015
In the last few years, more so in 2014, local SEO is the demand of the day. With more use of mobile devices, users are searching for products and services on the go, making it imperative for every website to have a local SEO chapter.
Without it, they are most likely to miss out on some important number of online visitors and so, online revenue. In this post, we will look at the face of local SEO campaigns. Will it be any different or advanced? Let’s find out!
Points to Consider in Local SEO
Before we give you some simple tips and tricks about cracking the local SEO code , let us look at some of the sticking points that you need to consider before starting out.
The first is to set the goal of the local SEO campaign in sync with the demand of the client. Make no mistake in assuming what the client wants. Set out the deliverable that you can achieve and allow your client the option to pick what is required. Analyze your case in clear, simple terms.
For example, clients may care very little about online traffic and keyword ranking. They may be more interested in converting whatever traffic comes their way into online leads. If you don’t have a word on it beforehand, your SEO campaign will fail to impress them.
SEO is a field where the professionals come from various walks of life. As a result, they bring their own preferences and experiences. This may result in some chaos when it comes to visualizing the SEO campaign. When there is this kind of confusion in the planning stage, it reflects on the website that you develop or even the campaign that you draft.
online users end up clicking the web links that lead nowhere or certainly not where they or even you want them to go! Avoid this state of tunnel vision and instead, frame a plan that can deliver what you have set out to achieve.
Tips to Dominate Local SEO
Now, let us look at some simple tips to dominate the local SEO scene after 2015. The thumb rule in this section is that you may have heard or read about these tips earlier. The vital point is to start implementing them to see the results. These tips may be a sort of revisit for many who have read or written extensively for SEO in the last couple of years.
Tip 1: Audit:
It is of vital importance that you know where you stand before you start playing. SEO teams often end up making audit exercises an excuse to pin faults or go on witch-hunts. That is not the objective of an audit report.
Through the help of this report, you are expected to learn from mistakes or missed opportunities and then plug those loopholes in the future. For success in local SEO, you need to bolster your weak links.
Tip 2: Behavioral Signs:
Studying the behavioral signs is the next big thing on the local SEO scene. The rule here is to optimize for human users and not just for the search engine crawlers. In other words, you need to elevate the user experience of the searchers as opposed to shoring up only your credit points with search engines like Google.
How do you do it? Ask for reviews from satisfied customers. Make use of your Google My Business page. Increase your CTR (click-through-rate) by using high quality images on this page. Use local SEO through on-page factors like title tags and meta tags.
Tip 3: Barnacle SEO:
This is the new big deal on the horizon of local SEO. According to Will Scott who first used this term, barnacle SEO is attaching yourself to a fixed point when others around you are floating away. In due time, you will find yourself being joined by many others.
This concept displays that you can join forces with like-minded parties and make a bigger, better case of hitting the top of the cream in local SEO listings. Of course, you need to figure prominently and be the dominant player in this kind of arrangement.
A good example of this is using Yelp to rank among the top service providers in a particular local zone. Other options include Wikipedia, Thumbtack and Avvo.
2014 was a spectacular year for SEO with lows like doing away with authorships and highs like Penguin updates. 2020 has seen many more changes towards betterment of user experience. The only thing you can do is try and build up a set-up with the least number of flaws! Try out these tips of local SEO campaigns and do share with our readers what you experience!
Understanding business interest in SEO
The internet has become a place for business because it can give you reach that is not possible otherwise. The best thing about the online business is that you can apply the internet marketing strategies with best results for your business.
The SEO strategies are really something that can benefit the users by attracting more people with your online presence. The concept of SEO or Search Engine Optimization is actually simple. SEO is a set of strategies that allows your website links to come on the first page of search engine result pages.
People find only first page results to be worthy. You should be interested in SEO strategies if you have a online business. The SEO will get you maximum number of traffic and you will find expected customers.
The most important thing is to attract maximum number of traffic possible to climb higher on the search engine result pages. There are many SEO techniques like back linking, use of keywords, Meta tags, forum posting, blog commenting, blog posting and many more. All these strategies are set with a common goal which is to bring people to your website and get a good rank on the search engine result pages.
The online business competitions have increased and a good set of SEO techniques can make all the differences for you. You will get the best spot in the result pages if you use the right strategies for your website. There are both ethical and unethical SEO techniques that can help you to get a higher spot.
However, the unethical techniques may help you at first but the search engines will remove your site from their indexes within few weeks. The SEO strategies like content building or link building has been the most effective ways to have the top spot in on a search engine result page.
The business interest in SEO is not surprising as all business owners really want to have great success with their online business and SEO techniques can do that for them. These strategies will get you more exposure to a great number of visitors, which is your ultimate target.
The more people you reach to, the more your business will benefit and the more money you will make from it. The internet is the best medium to attract maximum number of people and the SEO techniques are your best tools to make that possible.
Online business depends on the traffic pulling strategies for the success and the SEO techniques are the ways do that. The SEO is becoming more and more important every day for the online businesses as the number of website are increasing every day now.
Finding the right SEO expert, to do the work for you, is the most challenging thing you have to do. some people prefer to apply SEO techniques themselves but it only works when you have clear ideas and experience of it. Wrong strategies are waste of time and effort. The SEO is needed for your website based business to grow and that’s why you should not take a chance.
Infographic – Why local businesses should not ignore SEO
source – Go-Gulf.com
SEO for Online Business in Different Locations
Online businesses often function out of different locations. The SEO strategy to deal with that kind of a situation is slightly different from the run-of-the-mill optimizing blueprint.
With your business spread out over different locations, you have to think local as well. That is to say, you have to think about local searches and cater to that market because it is equally relevant to your business. You can follow these steps to ensure that you are getting your SEO right for your online business based out of varied locations:
Create a separate and unique web page for every location that you are based in. These unique pages need to have a separate identity in your SEO plan. Optimize them according to relevant local searches. This will help you tap into the local market easily and also keep an eye on the business outside the location.
Individual, unique web pages for different locations do not mean that they all function in isolation. You have to ensure that these separate web pages are linked together strongly. Add anchor texts regularly so that users can shuffle between the local web pages and also the main (centralized) home page of your website.
The local web pages that you create must have the local address and phone numbers of your business offices or stores. You need to maintain the consistency of NAP on the local lists generated by search engines. This will help you to make sure that Google recognizes your local citations easily.
Generate Google Plus+ pages for each of your local web pages. That is not all! You have to follow the above-mentioned point about maintaining NAP consistency through the local business listings that are created.
SEO cannot ignore the possibilities of backlinks. You have to target locally relevant websites to attach backlinks. Backlinks will get you relevant local traffic and also increase your ROI. Do not limit the backlinks to the local web pages only. You can also have backlinks to the main website.
How can only rule out the power of the social media networks in this scheme of things? You need the power of Facebook and Twitter, not to mention LinkedIn or Quora, to make your brand more accessible in the local market. Targeting local networks are easier through social media channels.
Growing Local Businesses with Location-Based Marketing
With the advent of mobile devices and other location based services, directing consumers to nearby physical locations is becoming more and more sophisticated. Location based services or LBS, as they are commonly referred to as, is an age old concept that has been around since the arrival of first business phone books or yellow pages.
However, the technology used is rather new and this factor has changed the face of location-based marketing. This form of marketing calls for various business tactics – from advertising on local papers, radio stations, channels and billboard advertising to using location detection services like GPS and triangulation technology.
Location-based marketing can be used for various purposes, such as:
- You can use LBS for displaying local ads, directing visitor to a specific location.
- For delivering discounts, coupons and promotional messages to the mobile phone of the customers.
- Retailers often use location-base services to offer customer incentives for specific location.
- LBS can also deliver detailed information of a product when the customer is standing in front of it.
- Based on your physical location, this service can provide details about meet-up, event and social opportunities.
- LBS also makes it easy to find a location.
- You can share location-based information in social network platforms with LBS.
In general, there are four types of location-based marketing tricks, allowing businesses to deliver promotional messages relevant to a specific location.
The first and the most common tactics is detecting your customers’ location. These days, most of the mobile devices come with GPS or triangulation technology. This allows to send them location-based promotional messages and coupons to direct them to a nearby business location. Similarly, you can use this technology to detect a more general location of your customers when they log on to local Internet connection using laptops or computers.
You can now send instant messages with discount coupon codes to your customers based on their current physical location, thanks to the GPS or triangulation technology. However, you will need your customers email addresses and mobile numbers to take advantage of this technology. Also, your customers should opt-in for such location-based services.
Another practice of location-based marketing involves requesting your customers address, city, state, zip code, and other location information when they visit or sign up with your website. You may even gather such information when they interact with a search engine. One of the simplest ways is to ask them to select their location from a drop-down list or a map. You may even ask the zip code of your customer to display available offers, contact information and maps of nearest location. Most of the deal sites use this location-based marketing practice to display local deals.
The third location-based marketing trick is quite common and almost all businesses with online presence use this tactics to optimize their site for local searches. When a potential customer use location-dependent search terms, you can infer their location.
For example, if a potential customer is using a search term like “Beauty Services in Brooklyn”, you can easily infer their location information and use it for your advantage. You may also use the customer database to inter their location information. This again, is commonly used in daily deals sites where the visitors need to provide their location information the first time they visit the site; the website will show location-relevant deals on their every repeat visit.
Location-based marketing is also used to invite interaction. Yu need to place interactive messages at some points-of-interest and enable the interaction with Bluetooth, scanable barcodes and specific keywords. Retails store customers often use this service through their mobile phones. All they need to do is text the keyword listed on a particular product or display and they will receive a mobile website link, showing the current local incentives on the featured product.
All these location-based marketing tricks are used to deliver relevant and valuable marketing messages to your customers. However, the type of such marketing tactics that may work for you will depend upon your business strategy as well as on customers’ purchase behaviors. Also, remember, proximity is not always a purchase intent indication. You need to differentiate between impulsive shoppers and people who are only researching to deliver a call-to-action message to impulsive shoppers and product detail message to researching shoppers.
Invasive location-based marketing practice needs a permission-based strategy. This is where you need to encourage your customers to sign up for opt-in services so that they can receive location-based promotional messages. This way, you won’t be annoying the customers when they are passively in the vicinity of any buying opportunity. Also, try to include opt-in messaging services even if you are responding to a customer-initiated activity.
Location-based marketing is gradually becoming one of the top trends, due to its potential to improve the communication and ways of advertisements for small businesses. Thus, allowing them to stay in competition within the local market. Even Forrester Research published in one of their recent studies that 42 percent of total retail sales (in-store sales) was influenced by online research and websites in 2009. And the number is likely to reach 53 percent of total retail sales by 2014. This study shows the huge potential for local businesses to drive more number of customers to their physical locations.
Source – MarketingTechBlog