By now everyone who is serious about internet marketing knows about search engine optimization, or SEO, and the crucial role it plays in the success of a website. While people and firms craft intricate strategies to bring their webpages to the top of rankings, one space that is often overlooked is local SEO. Focusing on local results can often produce highly targeted traffic at a fraction of the cost. This is especially true for brick-and-mortar businesses that cater to specific areas. Why fight to rank for highly competitive keywords when a large percentage of that traffic is useless, but still costs a lot of money and resources to rank for?
Local SEO is very different than your typical optimization campaign. One of the early things that should be done is to claim the business in popular search engine directors such as Google Business. This will give you more control over your business-centric pages on Google’s various websites. Make sure that all of the fields are filled with very detailed and specific information about your business as this can help drive good rankings in local searches. It is also likely to be of benefit to potential customers who are searching for things in your niche.
Reviews can be an important part of driving your page and making it stand out from the competition. Encourage customers or clients to leave reviews, especially if they note that they had a good experience. Another useful technique can be to include a how-to guide on leaving a review directly on your website. Google values these reviews and incorporates the data into producing rankings.
On-page optimization is especially important for local SEO. It is important to have your city or regional names on the webpages along with your service to help drive more long-tail traffic that is local (e.g. city name service). Embedding a Google maps app on the website also helps with this. It is also very important to blatantly put your address on multiple webpages and preferably on all of them via a footer or other site-wide element. It is important to keep the formatting consistent with this as well, both for user experience reasons as well as SEO.
In today’s world the mobile net is growing at a very rapid clip, so it is extremely important to be mobile-friendly. This will help drive not only local rankings, but all rankings. In fact, Google has explicitly stated that it will give more weight to websites which are mobile friendly, especially on mobile device searches.
The last important strategy is to build links with other local websites. Partnering with other businesses and suggesting each other (especially if you are complimentary in service) can be a great way to go about this while also creating some goodwill. Local citations can be very important in the local ranking algorithms that Google and other search engines use. There are some services that can help you if you have trouble building these links naturally.
Overall, local SEO is of tremendous and growing importance and can really have a large impact on a business in a short amount of time relative to traditional SEO strategies.