If you’re a small business, and even if you’re a large business looking to pinpoint target audiences, local SEO is a major factor contributing to your site’s success. Optimizing your website for local searches, as opposed to broader SEO terms in general, is a critical point to hit when crafting content. Check out how you can optimize your site for local search for the best results.
How Local Search is Different
Just like regular SEO practices, good links, compelling content and carefully crafted placement are all important. However, there are other aspects of this subject that are unique to local search. Tapping into local markets takes extra dedication, especially when you’re a small business looking to sell your goods and services to those in a specific community. Thanks to Google’s addition of Google+ Local, it’s easier than ever for companies to communicate with their customers and augment their profile with critical business elements, such as hours, photos and reviews.
Your first step to optimizing your site for local search is to register with Google + Local. This free platform will help connect you with the clientele you’re targeting most efficiently. Take your time and go through all the features available to you, particularly the tools that track how many times users displayed an interest in your business listing and how many times they saw that listing in a local search. Google gets a lot of press, but be aware there are other sites out there that you should also register with, such as Yahoo! Local and Bing Local.
Hone the Hub
Then you think of your website as the hub of your entire digital signature, you’ll realize just how important a well-crafted local search SEO site is, comprised of local listings, email campaigns and social presence. This means your content has to be honed, you have to ensure your website is well organized, you need to convert visitors to customers and you need to make sure that technically your website functions seamlessly. In terms of content, it’s crucial to include wording that will build a foundation for local success. After all, it is this content that will be the deciding factor in whether people will choose to follow you on social media, or for that matter, even navigate beyond the home page of your website. Without compelling content optimized for the local audience, all bets are off.
Know Your Customers
Knowing who your local customers are and what they want is crucial. Research key phrases as if you were a customer looking for a service or the answer to a question. Use tools like Google Trends to get more specifics, such as targeting your geographic area for popular keywords and take into consideration the suggestions displayed. Create unique pages for each town you serve, with keywords that target that particular community for each. Highlight projects you’ve worked on within a particular city, upload videos and photos, and use social media to hype local promotions, giveaways and coupons to get your business noticed locally.
Optimizing your site for local search, while a bit different from standard SEO practices, can be accomplished by using the various tools at your disposal. Use the tips above to help make your website local-friendly.