SEO, in general, is great. With an organic campaign run by SEO experts, any entrepreneur’s website can be seen potentially by a global audience of millions. The more people stumble upon your site, the better your chances of getting those conversions, eventually. Now that sounds good for your business, right?
However, if your website is for a small enterprise that relies heavily on local customers for revenue, you might want to have a local SEO strategy in place as well. After all, more and more people are now searching for products and services by typing in location-specific keywords and maximizing your local SEO can give you the chance to get a sweet slice of that pie and stay ahead of your competition at the same time.
Why local SEO?
Organic SEO typically puts you in a situation where your local business is just a single item in a long list of other similar shops across the nation or even the world over, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, a local enterprise in that position runs a higher risk of getting lost or even ignored completely.
These days, people are much better searchers, particularly when they’re looking for food and services. Internet users are now in the habit of putting in the name of a city or any local component when searching for, say, the best pizza or spa services.
Now here’s the key part: Google and the other search engines are getting smarter than ever and can recognize such searches as having local intent. So, when they encounter searches for a specific industry + location, Google et al. automatically present to them location-specific options, particularly companies with high local SEO rankings.
With the way search engines value intent-based search optimization, every business hoping to get some hard business from the Internet should work to get high local SEO rankings by beefing up their local SEO strategy.
Maximizing your local SEO
There are so many ways for your business to rank high in the local SEO results pages. They include:
- Google My Business—This is a free listing service that can have a direct impact on your local SEO ranking as long as it’s used properly. When claiming your Google My Business profile, always remember to verify it as it will help you rank higher than non-verified ones.
Don’t forget to put in all pertinent details about your business, including your name, address, telephone number, hours of operation, website address, and images with appropriate keywords. If your information is accurate, finding your business will be a lot easier for people.
After verifying your Google My Business Profile, you may want to create profiles on Yelp, Yahoo Local, Bing Places, Foursquare, and other local search engines as well.
- Optimizing title tags with location-specific keyword—As mentioned earlier, people now do industry + location searches on a regular basis. Optimizing your title tags with a local keyword, e.g. “best burritos Phoenix,” is an excellent way of telling Google that your page is directly linked with Phoenix. Once Google takes notice of that, your page is more likely to appear in local searches.
- Writing more localized content—To help you compete locally on search, you need to create more content on your website that focuses on the city or area where your business is located. Blog posts about local news, events, and activities would be great.
- Getting coverage from local media—By cultivating relationships with local journalists, particularly those who work for the top publications or media companies in your area, you get the chance to be covered by them, which will eventually help boost your local SEO.
- Getting high-quality links—As with organic SEO, local SEO receives a boost when you get high-quality links for your website. To improve your chances of getting backlinks from local authority sites, you can foster relationships by giving a presentation at a local university, speaking at a regional business conference, or do anything that would make the organizations associated with such events to link to your website.
The above tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maximizing your local SEO. Learn more about other local SEO factors and implement them and better your chances of achieving that all-important high local SEO ranking.
For further reading on the importance of SEO and your website, read Buchanan Solutions’ blog on “Why your website needs SEO”
This is a guest article from Anthony Tisara of SEO Phoenix