Thursday, 18 July 2013

Local SEO Strategies for Business

If you want to grow your business in your local area, you need specific SEO strategies to be found easily by potential customers in that area. Local SEO combines the best practices of general search engine optimization with special techniques to help your business get noticed in your local area.

Growing Importance of SEO for Local Business

Local searches have assumed increasing importance in recent years and are critical if you sell your services or products to local customers. More people are searching for local products and services online. For example, if someone wants to find a Chinese restaurant in their area, they would turn to the Internet rather than a phone book to find it. Moreover, with the increasing usage of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, people are searching for what they need even when they are on the go. That’s why it’s important that they can find you online.

It pays to target customers who are searching locally. For instance, someone who types just “Chinese restaurants” in a search bar is simply looking for general information on such restaurants. However, if the search is conducted with specific local terms added, such as “Chinese restaurant Brooklyn area’, it means the potential customer has advanced along the buying cycle and is more likely to make the decision to visit one.

Search engines provide great local SEO services for promoting your local searches. For instance, Google has Google Maps and Google Places. Local search services can guess where searchers are and provide them with results based on that location. Leading search engines have two indexes that provide data for a local search – regular organic search results and local results which provide information from an entirely different place. If you do well in Google’s local results for instance, your site will appear high on the page next to Google Maps.

Professional Local SEO Services for Promoting Local Searches

Getting your website optimized on leading search engines for greater visibility is not child’s play. Google is constantly changing its algorithms. Moreover, there are lots of competitions out there and only the right SEO strategies can help you rank well on the search engines and attract targeted traffic.  A local SEO company will evaluate your website and business goals to fix on what specific steps have to be taken to optimize your site for locally based search.

A competent SEO service provider would first conduct an effective needs analysis to
  • calculate your site’s ranking for business type and your geographical location
  • calculate ranking for each web page
  • see where is your search traffic coming from
  • know the type of visitors you need to attract
  • achieve your business goals
  • look at your competition to see what phrases they use to rank high.
The SEO specialists would also have to know if you have more than one location and where you typically do business. All this information is then used to optimize your local presence in local search results and business listings using the right combination of on-page and off-page SEO techniques,

On Page Optimization

On page optimization techniques for local SEO would include:
  • Choosing the right business-specific and geo-targeted keywords using the free Google Adword tool, Wordtracker, and find the best keywords, including long-tail keywords
  • Improving your website’s page titles, geo-specific META tags, title tags, citations, and more: META tags on every page of your website gives search engines a summary of page’s content and also appear in the search results to induce users to click on it.  A title tag with the following structure can get the results you are looking for:
main keyword/city and location first, your business name, and then an additional supporting keyword or information

With right kind of title tag optimization, your business would show up on the first page of search results easily as in this search for “hi definition liposuction New York City”
  • Improving your website’s pages and creating search engine friendly content is another important on-page optimization strategy. A search engine optimization company provides you with fresh, informative content that uses local keywords. Several informative content pages are included to your site to create relevancy between your site and your keyword terms. For instance, a healthcare center that hosts a page title “Gerristen Beach Pain Management Services” and uses the right keyword strategically on it is sure to attract prospective patients from that area.
  • Put contact info on all pages of your site. Build your local SEO pages and gets traffic to the right pages of your website with your address, phone number and a map. Putting searchers on a page that includes contact information is very useful especially if they are using a mobile device to get information in their local area.
  • Other strategies include submitting an XML sitemap to Google and Bing Webmaster tools, insertion of social media buttons on site pages for sharing, and more.
Off Page Optimization

Off-page opt techniques for local SEO would include conventional techniques such as registering your site with top search engines, listing your products in product directories, getting local business listings, article and blog marketing, getting local reviews, and more. Blog commenting, guest blogging, testimonials and forum discussions are great link building strategies. Google+ local is a great place to push for reviews.

Social networking is one of the most significant ways to optimize your website and boost the authority of your business. Being active on Google+ offers many advantages for local businesses:
  • Using local tab with personalized and social recommendations for specific Google+ Local pages
  • Creating valuable backlinks to their business
  • Zagat review data to get your business ratings
  • Google+ Local business pages are being integrated to Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Mobile.

Finally, a professional SEO company would provide you with ongoing reports to measure visitors, traffic source overview, landing pages and conversion tracking. This will help keep track of how well you are faring and if necessary, revision of your local SEO strategies for the best outcome.


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