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Focus More On Local SEO Techniques

May 3, 2013
Posted by Scott Leisler


According to research done by Webvisible & Nielsen, 63% of consumers and small business owners use the web as the first place to find information about local companies. 82% of them do so by using search engines verses a direct URL path or website address.

Yet only 44% of small businesses have a website and half of them spend less than 10% on their marketing budget online.

I’ve seen a lot of businesses and organizations neglect building an SEO plan into their website. Many of the ones that do sometimes focus on a plan that is geared to work on a national level – which is very challenging with a limited budget and immense search competition.

If this sounds like your business or organization, now may be the right time to pay more attention on a local SEO level where the closest opportunities exists.

This connects to where your customers physically live and participate in traditional brick and mortar commerce, so taking this common sense approach may help them find you easier. Remember, there is no point of having a great website to establish your credibility if your customers and prospects can’t find it.

The Good News:

Search engines are getting smarter. The magic of the Google algorithm can remember a user’s previous search habits and be intuitive enough to look for results with those factors into consideration.

For example, if a user searches for “West Coast Taco’s Grand Avenue 63116,” the next time that same user searches for something new, Google will “remember” that previous location as an anchor point and display results that it thinks are most relevant.

How to get started:

Here are some Local SEO tips to help your website be found easier in the search engine results pages (SERPs). It still requires a lot of effort to improve your rank, but implementing even just a few of these may give you some upward placement.

  1. Get listed in online business directories. Some of the most popular ones are Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Yelp, and Nokia. But also get listed in city specific local directories and ones that represent your specific business category. Include pictures where applicable.
  2. Be consistent and accurate in how you list your company from one directory to the next. This will make it easier for Google to pinpoint you without thinking you may have more than one location. Google may skip information it believes to be inaccurate.
  3. Use trigger keywords to attract the local search algorithm for your niche or category. Remember to think like a customer or someone searching the web. Keywords should also include a location modifier like a city or state.
  4. Make sure your full business address and phone number is in multiple places on your website to re-enforce your geographic location.
  5. Look at using Google+. Google looks for social media clues, specifically Google+ users. If a Google+ user is logged into their account while performing a search, your site may be seen more favorably for that searcher.
  6. Ask for customer reviews online. Reviews make your business more credible to future customers and also serve as geographic re-enforcement.
  7. Lastly, remember that all the rules of SEO change frequently and will need regular maintenance for the best optimization.

Categories → Best Practices, Web
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