Local SEO Strategies for Small Businesses
Local search engine optimization is very similar to organic SEO in that it’s also an intricate procedure affecting the rankings of a site or a single web page, sometimes referred to as the “paid” or “unbunded” results in the paid results of a particular search engine. Organic SEO, as the name implies, refers to techniques and practices that aim to improve the site’s search ranking and visibility online. Local SEO, on the other hand, has something to do with the actual location of the site. This type of SEO may involve everything from placement of keywords in the page titles (or headers) of posts, pages, and posts to submitting articles to directories or participating in local community forums or promotional programs. The ultimate goal, of course, is business domination online.
Before anything else, what exactly is Local SEO? As defined by Google, Local SEO is the marketing of a site to draw visitors through various strategies that are designed to increase the number of Google local search results. A business name, for instance, can be optimized for specific keywords so that when a user types a related keyword into the Google search box, the business name pops up in the list of results, making it easier for the company to get closer to the top of the list. The same holds true for URL and domain names. Placing the URL for a company’s main website at the beginning of each blog post, article, and press release will cause those items to appear high up on the Google and Yahoo searches.
When a search volume for a given keyword is high, chances are that a local SEO marketing strategy was implemented. This could be based on creating press releases and articles to release the information, as well as participating in online forums and discussion groups frequented by business owners. Participating in events such as trade shows, fairs, and conventions are also good ways of gaining exposure. These activities draw a large amount of search volumes and will generate the necessary traffic, especially if the company is located in the nearby city.
Another strategy that’s used locally is through increasing the number of Google shenanigans and local Google searches through adding content to directories such as Open Directory. Open Directory allows users to submit citations and links to any location in the world. The citation is an anchor text used to increase the likelihood that a search engine will rank a site high. For instance, if a business has its main website located in the City of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, then using the Open Directory would increase the likelihood that people searching for products and services using the keywords “Sheffield” will find that site. By submitting relevant citations, businesses can create the impression that they are locals and are trusted.
In order for this strategy to work, it’s important to choose the right keywords or key phrases. Google and Yahoo have created algorithms that target local searchers. Therefore, it’s important to choose keywords that people searching using these keywords are likely to enter when searching. Some of the best local SEO strategies in operation include optimizing snack packs for the local economy, optimizing a business’s Wikipedia page, optimizing local citations, optimizing maps, optimizing videos for local locations and optimizing audio podcasts.
Article Marketing is another local SEO strategy that many businesses employ. Article marketing involves writing articles on various topics relevant to your business, submitting them to article directories such as the New York Times and the BBC and then including a link back to your site at the bottom of the article. The article must contain relevant information about your business and have a link to your site by the end. This form of local seo is proven to drive targeted traffic to your site because the search engines consider articles submitted to directories as being content that is already known to readers and is a direct reflection of the author’s knowledge and experience.
Podcasting is another great way of targeting local searches, especially since it’s now one of the top trends in the media industry. Podcasts can rank well in search engines due to the fact that they contain a large volume of unique content and are very easy to rank and distribute. A podcast should contain conversational content that’s related to your business but should also have some “buzz” built up around it. For example, a podcast about the new hot topic of the month would be a good idea and discussing the latest product introduction or new concept that a company has may also be a good idea and can help you rank better in local searches.
Keyword Research is also important in creating your own Local SEO strategy. One of the primary reasons why SEO is so important is because search operators index websites based on keywords so your goal is to rank for commonly used keywords in local searches. The majority of web surfers use keywords when searching so it’s important to rank well in local searches. Some marketers make their own lists of popular keywords and use software to analyze search patterns to determine what these keywords are and how to rank for them. Some tools include Google Analytic, Overture SEO, and Google Business Solutions. You should subscribe to at least several of these programs to get a variety of perspectives on how to optimize your site for a particular area or region.