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Local SEO Tips
Local search is an ever-increasing percentage of total search engine traffic, and local SEO is becoming more important every day.
As of late last year, a large percentage of Google searches were purely local. This article will tell you why it’s growing, and list some of the top tips on how to make online marketing work for your business.
What is a local search? That’s simple enough. A person looking online for something in their locality is performing a local search.
It could be for a pet store or an Italian restaurant. People need lawyers and dentists. The internet is as big as the world, but certain things need to be done locally. Your dentist can’t be too far away, for example.
If you’re operating a business that needs to draw on the local population, local SEO will greatly enhance your business’ presence in the community.
Word of mouth is always going to be important- both offline and online- so if you have satisfied customers, ask them to write a review or a testimonial online.
Printed directories like the Yellow Pages are mostly going into the recycling bin minutes after they’re dropped on people’s doorsteps.
That’s old news. So, you need to be online since most of your customers are online. What is the best way to accomplish your goal of being found?
The first tip is, you have to understand that your web site is not enough to make you known locally. Yes, it is essential to have that presence, but without optimizing it, your web site becomes an online billboard. That is, someone has to be “driving down your side street,” your little hidden corner of the internet, in order to bump into it.
That’s happenstance. You’re lucky if somebody finds you. The conclusion? Your business needs to be optimized!
The second tip is keywords. If you’re a tire store, how close to the top of Google are you when someone types in your city and the word “tires”?
You have a lot of competition, and you have to make yourself a top-of-the-list find in the search engines.
Knowing the words people are using to look for your type of business, and using those keywords properly both on-page and in your linking strategy are what’s going to pop you to the top!
The third factor is on-page optimization factors: website coding, page titles, site architecture, headings, content, metas and more. These are important elements that need to address the technical needs and the marketing needs of your business.
The fourth tip involves links, or linking. This is the off-page optimization factor.
Quality links are very “heavy” to the search engines—they’re a big part of being found. And the more quality links you have, the higher your position is. And the the main goal is to be on the top page, in the top spots for those keyphrases.
Are you being talked about online, and are good things being said about your business?
The more popular the site that is talking about you, the more you benefit from their weight, or “juice,” if you’re lucky enough to be linked by them.
You may have a very good idea of the keywords people are using to find you. If not, one good way is to type in the words you think people are using. Or you can hire a consultant to help you determine the best local SEO plan for your business.
If you don’t get a lot of hits on your type of business, try some others. You’ll find that certain words will pull up lots of your competitors (and hopefully you too), while other words aren’t as robust, or relevant.
A fifth tip: for many local businesses, creating a local social media campaign is a great way to create brand awareness and keep in touch with your customers. Does your company have a Faceboook page? Do you offer good tips about products and services? Do you have any specials or discounts that your customers may benefit from? You can also learn more about what your customers want and need by creating surveys, polls and quizzes.
This should give you some basic ideas about what local online marketing is, and how to start thinking about what you can do when you decide to optimize your online business presence. My next article will contain some more tips, and in future topics I will go more in-depth. Thanks for stopping by PixelDezigns!
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