Local SEO Strategies & Optimization Tips

As more and more business come online many have a specific geographic radius in which they provide service. As a result one of the buzz-words floating around search engine optimization blogs, forums and conferences is ‘local seo’ and that buzz continues to grow louder .Here are a few tips for local businesses to focus their optimization efforts on local SEO.

First, Create a Web Presence

You can rank in plenty of Local search results without a website so rather than initially investing in a website look to leverage powerful websites like Yelp or Yahoo as your initial web presence. Be sure to leverage targeted keywords related to your business in your description and encourage your customers to leave feedback!

If you are in fact ready to take the plunge on an actual website design, or perhaps a revision of your current website, I highly recommend building it on WordPress. Buying a domain name, signing up for an affordable hosting account and installing this free publishing platform is a surprisingly simple process.  There are hundreds of high-quality free or cheap themes for WordPress on places like Smashing Magazine, Premium Themes, ThemeForest, DIY Themes, Design Disease, and others.

Second, Submit your Business to the Local Search Engines

While submitting your website to a search engine is really an outdated practice you can submit your business information to them? Update your business listing on Google’s Local Business Center, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local (or submit to all of them from one place at GetListed.org). Again, use some targeted keywords to describe your business, and make sure you place yourself in the proper categories.

The ‘Big Three’ (Google, Yahoo and Bing) are not as dominant in Local Search as you might think, though, so don’t stop there. Sign up for local listing syndication services Localeze and Universal Business Listing as well.  Be consistent with your information and sign up on as many additional directories as you have time to do.

Dont Forget to Track and Analyze Your Results

Even without a website, Google’s Local Business Center can show you how many people view your business profile on Google, and the top keywords they are using to find you. This information can be invaluable when you are actually ready to invest in a website of your own.  Keep track of this data & see which keywords you’re not showing up for but should be.

If you decide to start or revise your website, install Google Analytics‘ free tracking code. You’ll find in-depth information about your website such as what pages people are landing on, the average time they spend on your site, what keywords are driving leads or sales and much more!

Yes, this might all be confusing and require the help of a professional SEO eventually, but you may learn one or two things about your customers that you didn’t know before.

Jump on the Social Bandwagon

If you haven’t joined Twitter yet, now is the time. Use search.twitter.com to make friends in your community and let your customers know your Twitter handle in your offline and online marketing materials (follow PPC For Hire @ppcforhire).

Don’t forget the Facebook phenomenon as well which as just passed 300 million users and is continuing to prove its a viable source of qualified website traffic. Check out www.OnlyFacebook.com to stay up to date on all the Facebook SEO tips.

If you’ve done a good job with submitting your business to the major Local Search engines, suggesting that your customers review you periodically on their favorite one will help round out your web presence.

Lastly, Stay Informed!

Read local search expert bloggers like Mike Blumenthal, Matt McGee, Miriam Ellis, Andrew Shotland, and Local Search News on a regular basis! If you are already on Twitter follow the experts there, too!

What local search tips do you have? Leave a comment and let us know what has worked best for your business!

Not getting the search engine rankings you need? Ask about our Local SEO Services!

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