Article by John Foley
What is Local SEO? Before we move into leveraging the power of Local SEO, we need to understand what it is! While Local SEO is much like Regular SEO, the only difference is the optimization for local results. With search engines listing local results for local searches and based on location, it is all the more important to concentrate of local results. However, there are few differences with the way listings are listed under local results.
As a small business, you are more likely to limit your business to the area you are located in. This makes Local SEO more important to small scale businesses. You would definitely know who you are targeting and the type of customers you are looking at. This is an advantage when optimizing your site for getting listed in the local results. Your keywords should be targeting these customers and how they would probably search online. A good idea would be to do a keyword research and see how the search results are listed for the keywords chosen. Then you can make changes if needed.
Contact Address: When looking to rank for local searches, you need to give more importance for the terms associated with that. So the business addresses and contact details should be given importance in the site. This is a major difference from regular SEO and Local SEO efforts, where business address and contact details aren’t given priority with the latter.
Think Beyond Google! While Google is where most head to for any information, there are other reliable sources besides Google Places and Search Results. Yelp is one such place where many head to. Remember such sources and other leading search engines including Yahoo and Bing, during your Local SEO efforts.
Think Citations & Reviews: This is very important to get listed in Google. You can create your own citations and reviews, though persuading your customers to do that would be ideal. This helps get better ranking in search results. While only Google Places reviews are listed in Google, getting reviews in other prominent sources including Yelp, will aid with rankings.
Go Social: Search results are now inherently related to your Social Media presence and are no different with Local SEO. Make sure you use them in your marketing campaigns. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other prominent social sites are vital for your marketing campaign. Google and Facebook pages are also important for your brands.
Content is the King: Any ranking and result is only based on the content. Having quality content with backlinks, quality site content and regular updates to the site are the key for indexing. With the recent Google panda update, site being regularly updated will be listed better.
Think Mobile: With the surge in smartphone users, mobile internet and mobile searches have increased by folds. It is important to have the site optimized for mobiles and also, consider how listings are done for mobiles. As we all know, Iphones are trendy and most go for it not only for the luxury it offers, but also for the features. With SIRI in Iphone 4, search engines results are no longer the same. It is important to get the business listed beyond Google and in places like Yelp and other public sources, to be able to get listed or seen by SIRI. This is an important aspect in any Local SEO campaign.
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