Major search engines, reacting to local search statistics, are increasing their focus on personalizing and localizing their inquiry results. This evolution benefits small business owners in many ways including:
- Raising Local Awareness Using locally based keywords and phrases such as the names of a neighborhood, city, or county combined with relevant search terms gets SEO results much faster than competing for search terms on a national or global basis. These are, in effect, long tail keywords which define niches in both geography and a product or service offering.
- Trust Building The best websites are successful because they build the trust of their visitors which, in turn, leads to conversions. The trust factor ramps up considerably when a visitor to the site can also visit the companys physical location.
- Higher Conversion Ratios – Most people engage in local search because they intend to take action, whether its to go out for dinner or because they need a plumber. While research may be conducted using keywords which are more general in nature, searches for local sellers or service providers generally indicate that the decision to buy has been made. At this point, motivated buyers are simply deciding where their money is going to be spent, hence, a higher rate of conversion.
SEO for a local business is not at all different than it is for a national campaign. Local SEO incorporates all the steps of on and offsite optimization tactics along with a few extra steps to define the location of the business in order to rank for local searches. Take these extra steps to make sure that your visitors find your business when they go local.
- Claim your profile Dont assume that your business is going to be added to local directories. The process is simple and takes a couple of minutes. Prioritize Yahoo Local, Google Places, and Bing Local and add your business to the listings.
- Upload pictures to your profile – The local listing services allow for the option to upload pictures. The pictures dont have to be of portrait quality but should be good representations of the location and the look of the business.
- Get reviews If someone tells you how much they love your business, theres nothing wrong (Yelp might be the exception here) with asking them to make their sentiments public via a review. Dont underestimate the power of great reviews.
- Use a local phone number This further defines the business as local.
- Put the business address on the home page and the contact page Some SEO strategists recommend the business address on every page but, at minimum, be sure that it is present on the home and contact pages.
Going local with your SEO efforts can give you fast and cost-effective results. For a free consultation on local SEO for your business, call GMR Web Team at (714) 731 9000.
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Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.Google +