Local SEO, as a concept, is very similar to global search engine optimization, in that it’s a method affecting the rankings of a site or a page in a search engine’s paid results, often called “free”, “sponsored”, or “paid” results. The goal of optimizing a local web page for organic search results (i.e., the top results on Google’s search results page) is to drive natural traffic to the web page from within the local area. It’s an excellent way for small businesses to increase their web traffic while improving search engine rankings. For example, many small business owners fail to take advantage of free listing placements on search engines because they believe that doing so would cost them money.
The first step to take when you’re optimizing a local SEO campaign is to determine your keywords. A list of targeted keywords that you can use for content and link building should be obtained. One way to do this is to obtain lists of keyword terms used by people within your local area. Another approach is to research the major search engines and see what keywords they use to index your business (e.g., “commerce” for “stores”). There are lots of free resources online to help you research keywords and get lists of popular keywords used by local customers.
Next, the keywords must be properly used in links that you create and distribute through Local SEO tools. If your web pages don’t contain specific keywords in your meta-tags, titles, headers, URLs, etc., those elements won’t be included in the organic search results. For instance, if a searcher types in “Tampa tooth whitening”, you’ll want to include a meaningful and appropriate keyword phrase in your page’s title and URL tags. Likewise, if your local business offers “do it yourself” do-it-yourself kits, your page content and links need to include appropriate keywords as well.
Also important is to understand that Local SEO is just as important for internet marketing as regular SEM or PPC is. With local seo efforts, web pages and ads will appear in the search engine results when searchers search for services and/or products within your particular geographic region. You want to get as many of these visitors as possible, since they are more likely to become customers. In order to increase your chances of making a sale, your page content and links must be well-designed and compelling. They must also be relevant to the search results for the service or products that you’re offering.
In addition to working on your local SEO efforts, another way to help increase your web presence is by getting listed in local listings in Yellow Pages and White Pages of various phone numbers. This strategy, known as Yellow Pages advertising, has been around for years and has always helped increase business opportunities for local businesses. When your company’s contact information is printed on these listing services’ websites, people who receive these calls are more likely to end up being your customers. As well, local listings in Yellow Pages and White Pages can be useful for other reasons, such as letting potential customers find your small business in their directories. In addition to helping improve your business’s local search rankings with these types of listing services, Yellow Pages advertising also helps increase customer awareness of your company.
One method used to boost search results for a certain area or zip code is through location-based citations. Citations are basically when someone refers to a site or document to another party. For example, if a customer clicks on an ad for a pizzeria located in Los Angeles, that person might be directed to a business listing page or website. If that individual sees that pizzeria in the Los Angeles area, they might be interested in that business and might click on a link to learn more. These location-based citations are great for increasing both your business’s local SEO rankings and customer awareness of your brand. Google, in particular, greatly benefits from location-based citations.
Paid ads are another way to increase your businesses ranking in search results. Paid ads can be used for a variety of different functions, including: attracting free leads, improving upon current rankings, and improving upon your business’s demographics. Paid ads are a great way to reach new customers, build new customer lists, and even increase your websites traffic and overall presence in the internet.
Local SEO and search engine optimization are two important strategies that should never be ignored. Both methods have the ability to significantly increase your website’s search traffic and can greatly improve your businesses’ overall visibility in the online world. No matter which one you choose, do both for the best results.