As the results that appear when conducting a search become more personalized based on location and people are increasingly searching on a mobile device while on the go, local SEO is becoming more and more crucial. When someone conducts a search, the search engines determine what establishments are the closest that offer what they need, assuming that the searcher is looking for what’s most convenient. Therefore, it’s necessary to use specific tactics in order to convey to the search engines (and target audience members) where exactly your business is located.
Incorporate these 3 tactics into your SEO strategy to improve local search efforts and generate more local traffic to your site:
Incorporate local keywords onto the website
Whether you are targeting a local audience or a national audience, the first step of an SEO campaign is the same. The first thing that needs to be done is keyword research. This will give you an understanding of how people are searching. You never want to simply assume which keywords to use because it could result in missed opportunities. If you are targeting a local audience, keywords will need to be localized by including the city or the city and the state. For larger areas, like big cities, it makes sense to niche it down even further by targeting a specific neighborhood. This is especially a good idea for local businesses that have lots of competition in a small area, like take out dinner establishments.
Add contact information to every page of the website
There are certain elements of a website that are necessary to include because they help to convey trust to the website visitor. Some people are still wary about what they find online, so it’s important to include contact information to confirm that you are, in fact, a real business. This is especially important for a local business that people are going to physically visit. Include the address, mailing address (if different), and phone number on every page of the site so that people don’t have to go looking for a contact page. Include the names of the towns, neighborhoods, or cities that you serve along with contact info in the footer. Remember, the phone number digits should be separated by dashes (ex. 555-000) so that people can easily click on it and call from their mobile device.
Activate local business listings
One of the first items on your local link building strategy should be to submit information to and activate profiles on local directories. For local search, Google displays Google+ Local profiles prominently above the fold. If yours isn’t verified and doesn’t include much information, it probably won’t appear. Bing and Yahoo! also have local business directories. It’s easy to fill out the information and go through the verification process. Basic listings are free, but there are Enhanced Listing options that may include photos, company logos, and a more detailed business description. There are plenty of other local directory sites to submit information to like Yellow Pages, Super Pages, and Local.com. All of these profiles will appear for a branded search.
About the Author:
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a Boston area SEO firm. For more SEO tips, subscribe to the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter.