19th August, 2015

Tailoring your business for local searches

Year after year, the world wide web expands and sucks in people, making everything they need available online.

Brick and mortar shops are slowly and steadily disappearing and I don’t see this trend changing in the near future. So businessmen have to be prepared to fight on another level and tackle completely different obstacles. No matter if you are the towns’ shoemaker or a new pizzeria on the block, local SEO will help you get the best out of your website and ensure that everyone in your area, that is in need of products/services you provide, will be able to find you in the web.

There are some aspects of local SEO that need to be tuned in on your site for best results. The first one is to do your homework well and analyze your potential customers. This should be rather easy. You just have to figure out what would their intentions be when they search for a specific keyword and what are they most likely to search for. Once you get this done you will have to make a list of the important keywords and implement them into your page titles. The titles are important as this is the first thing that a customer will see in Google whilst trying to find you. Titles should not be long and too explanatory but, at the same time, should try and be appealing. For example if you sell clothes it’s a good idea to put the most common items in your store in the title … let’s say “Joe’s t-shirts and pants”. if you just use “Joe’s clothes” you site won’t pop up when people are searching “where can I buy pants”. As a general advice, when searching for the appropriate keywords, always try to find such with more monthly searches and lower competition.

People who are searching for you want to know your exact location and Google will give it to them as long as you put it on as many pages as you can. Adding your address and phone number straightens the connections to the search engines and boosts the number of local searches that bring your website up as a search result. Don’t forget to use a local phone with the area code. This will help the search engine to associate your site in the searches in your area. It is important to have a page especially for this purpose (Contacts, About Us etc.) Google will also offer you to people using their smartphones in the area and pinpoint you on the map.

Powerful advantage you can have is showcasing your web page at other websites that are likely to attract customers for your field of business. Such off-page optimization is registering yourself to Google+ Local. Google gives you a huge opportunity to advertise yourself as a local business and makes the chance for your site to appear in local search results higher. Of course you are not limited to Google and can advertise yourself in other yellow page-like places. Such websites get a huge amount of traffic and can optimize your business surprisingly well. Find as many as you can and make sure to share every possible info there (business name, mobile and stationary phone, address, short description filled with your most relevant keywords).

Additional bonuses that help with local SEO include a blog and a video section to further appeal to your visitors. A blog section is easy to incorporate and will help boost the traffic. Every now and then you should add something fresh and new to your blog, of course keeping it relevant to your product/service niche. For example new promotions, new services, a local event you are hosting etc. You can write about other places connected to your field of business. Once you have the blog ready, go to http://blogsearch.google.com/ping and add it to Google’s blog search engine database, so that when you post something new it will immediately be picked up by the search engine.

A YouTube video will direct viewers and customers to your site for sure. YouTube is a powerful place for advertising and if you link your site with an explanatory clip about your activity, you won’t regret it. For example, if you are a restaurant you can add a video presenting your main courses with a catchy header and your keywords included.

Having a good linking strategy works as well for local SEO as it works for the global one. You are looking to add “buddies” that are relevant to your business or compliment it and built a great network of connections with them, which will be mutually beneficial. After all, the more times and places you are seen in – the better chance you have of attracting potential prospects.

As you can see, there aren’t much hidden tricks and exotic mysteries when it comes to local SEO. Most of the basic rules apply, but even better – as you have less competition they are sure to be even more effective. How about your experiences and success stories? How have you managed to stay on top in your scope of business? Share your stories in the comments below.

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