These days it really does not matter if you have a small local business or a larger chain local SEO is something that is crucial if you ever want to see anybody come by your website and inquire a bit more as to what you offer. Keep in mind that the definition of search engine optimization is one that has evolved over the years and is always changing. It is not about jamming a bunch of clunky keywords all over your site but rather a comprehensive approach that combines onsite SEO efforts in conjunction with external quality link building and social media tactics.
Let’s start with the foundation…your website
The most important starting point with this whole local SEO effort is your website. Don’t assume that it is all link building because it isn’t. Your website is the foundation to everything you do moving forward. If it is not properly optimized for search or conversions you are just going to hold yourself back.
- Always separate individual services onto their own pages. Don’t put all your services onto one page in a list.
- Conduct keyword research for all your services.
- Always optimize the meta tags, descriptions and keyword sections uniquely for each service using your targeted geographic area as a keyword.
- Utilize your localized keywords naturally throughout the content of your site.
- Make sure your complete address is listed in your footer and an official contact us page to let the SERPs know where you are located.
- Your service pages should have more content than 2 sentences. Get creative and put some nice lengthy unique content to keep visitors reading.
- Keep design & development tight and up to date with no coding errors.
- Make sure you have conversion elements in place so visitors are not looking for anything.
External Marketing Efforts
Once you have your website in tip top SEO shape you absolutely need to pay attention to your external SEO marketing efforts if you want to be visible in search. Remember that many of your competitors most likely already perform aggressive external marketing efforts for their websites you are going to either have to catch up or compete directly against them. The search engines do not care if you have a “better” company or lower prices it comes down to search ranking factors and how they view in comparison to those.
Here are some ways you can be building links:
- Launching local business profiles.
- Writing & distributing PR when news worthy activities occur.
- Blog post writing with keyword utilization.
- Blogger outreach to get your community writing about you.
- Social media usage.
- Content marketing.
- Interlinking your website.
Group buying has become all the rage. Not just for local businesses but really for any business looking to acquire a surge in clients and customers for a reduced cost. For some local businesses this has become a huge cash cow. I have seen spa’s increase business by almost 1000% just from one group buying offer.
If you need more convincing check out Mashable’s:
What is Foursquare? Sites like Foursquare have given many local businesses which depend on foot traffic that new breath they are looking for. Foursquare combines social media and customer loyalty all into one neat little package. As people visit a business they check-in to let others in their network know they are there. You might say that this is silly but so is letting everyone know on Twitter or Facebook you just bought a cup of coffee. The reality is that these novelty efforts many people find interest in.