Local SEO, the highly specialized sub category to standard SEO, is now as important, if not more than said standard. That being said, the battle for the top spots regarding your business in the search engines such as Google, depends highly on knowing the ingredients to a successful Local SEO campaign.
If one is familiar with the standard requirements to not only build a solid SEO campaign foundation, then you’re halfway home. Local SEO is the same, except it calls for tweaking a site so that search queries for that specific location of near where a surfer lives, will be properly listed in Google’s business listings. Far too many webmasters and marketers underestimate the value of placing contact and location information strategically on their websites and blogs. To fumble this is to literally give the competition free traffic and revenue that should have been yours.
It doesn’t take a Herculean effort to modify a site for Local SEO. Here’s a list of things that need to be done and adhered to.
1-Make your contact and local data, address, city, state, county, street, zip code available wherever you can on your site. Each page should have that data placed in a prominent position. Google doesn’t index websites, it indexes webpages. Each webpage is like a mini website that represents your company, thus you need to let the search engines know where you are as much as who you are and what your company provides.
2-Tag your content with your contact and location data. Local SEO isn’t just slapping your contact info on a page. It also comprises using your company’s content, in any form, as a way to get that local information out there. This way, when people share or comment on your content and add links, the search engines will see that people are not only interested in your content, but that your location data is within those queries, shares, likes, and comments. Every little bit helps, so the saying goes and it goes double for Local SEO campaigns.
3-Distance. People search for things like, “Where’s the nearest fishing tackle store to Poughkeepsie, New York?”. Poughkeepsie is a small, very old city in New York State. It ranks prominently not only in present day news, but has historical content that reaches far. Say your store is 5 miles from a city like this. Well, you make sure you mention something like, “The biggest fishing tackle store in the Poughkeepsie, New York area, home to the famous Marist College Red Foxes and the Walkway Bridge over the Hudson River.”. Well you’ve just killed several birds with one stone with that one. You’re letting people surfing know where you are but also the highly searched venues nearby. Oh, this works like magic. People searching for the “Walkway Bridge over the Hudson River” may well see your listing in the top searches with smart copy that says, “If you’re visiting the Poughkeepsie, NY area to enjoy the popular Walkway Bridge over the Hudson, stop by and visit our shop, just 5 miles at 123 Jones St., Poughkeepsie, NY!”. Now you’re all over the place with players on all bases increasing your chances of a grand slam. It’s all about useful and relevant content and association.
4-Relevance. Is your site worth Google indexing it prominently? Google is looking for relevance, a site that offers value, solves problems, enlightens people, provides a service to the public, not some glossy, superficial spammy site. That’s why Google has engineered a small fleet of the most advanced search engine software to seek out and filter exploitive sites from the valued sites. Make sure your site’s content includes something about your location in all content, responses to comments and also all postings on social media. You don’t have to give out your full contact info, but your street address, city, state, are good enough to squeeze in there. This goes triple for social media posts. If your post, be it a comment or pic or video goes viral, your location will be prominent and indexed by the search engines as useful and popular. Google’s business listings will post you as one of, if not, the most important website for that subject matter on their business listings. This all leads to the final stages, prominence and authority.
5-Authority and prominence are the goals you want for your small business or large business’ Local SEO campaigns. Make no mistake, to reach a solid level of both authority and prominence isn’t something you can buy anymore. It’s all about well done websites that are popping with life, ridding confusion, and providing a variety of valued services to the public as a whole. For example, let’s say your neighbors see your site being spoken about affectionately on social media. Well that’s a matter of local pride to them and they’ll say at times, “Oh yes, I live in Shindig, Oklahoma, the same town as that company ABC Electronics! You’ve seen their commercials?”. Well with word of mouth promo like that, it shows Google that your site is considered vital.
It grows in age and prominence and authority, with all the good ingredients listed above and more. Your site should be a spotlight for your location so that people will comment positively especially when linking to your site from other authority sites. Do things right, and you’ll have established a strong, honest, foundation from which your Local SEO campaign can grow on. It may or may not take several weeks to months to see those big results, but they’ll be results that you can count on.
SEO and Local SEO is like making a wedding cake. It takes lots of layers and artistic style, but the proof of the caking is in the eating.