Local SEO is simply search engine optimization with a smaller target. It means local, targeted results, which are more likely to convert to sales. If you have a physical place of business, then you should be taking advantage of this marketing technique. Here are the top 10 rules (an seo checklist if you will) for succeeding with local SEO.
10. Google Plus Locals.
When searching for a business in a specific location on Google there is a small map that appears to the right of the results. On this map are the top businesses listed that fit the search criteria in that location. Appearing on this map can give your business a strong competitive advantage. However, in order to appear here you must create a Google Plus Local business page.
9. Incorporate Local Pictures.
When creating profiles for sites like Google Places and Yahoo Locals you’ll be encouraged to include pictures. Viewers like seeing pictures and these websites like including them. There’s no need to pay for a professional photographer. Just head outside and snap some pictures of the business, neighborhood, or surrounding area.
8. Put Your NAP On Your Page.
Your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is a crucial collection of information about your business in terms of local optimization. Your NAP must be in a readable text format. It can be located just about anywhere on your page, but you want it to be visible by visitors as well.
7. Spread Your NAP Around.
Not only must your NAP be correct on your page, but it should be present and proper on other sites as well. It is believed that Google compares the NAP on your page with your NAP on other sites to ensure spam business aren’t listed.
6. Your Titles Need Geographic Data.
All of your title tags should include service information as well as geographical information. They serve as a brief description for Google. It’s extremely important that your homepage tag include your business location. With this information Google now knows your pages are relevant to those who are searching for local businesses.
5. Headings Can Be Local Too.
A similar rule applies to your H1, H2, etc. headings. Try including as much specific, local data as possible, but don’t force it. If you can find a way to naturally incorporate the neighborhood it’s even better.
4. Utilize Local Review Sites.
There are a lot of websites that review local businesses. Yelp is a perfect example of an extremely popular review site. Don’t worry if your reviews aren’t all positive. Reviews of any sort help build credibility, which is good in the eyes of Google and potential customers.
3. Your Domain Name Is Important.
Many business owners rush into choosing a domain name before they ever start thinking about local SEO. Don’t make this mistake. Your domain name is one of your most powerful tools when it comes informing Google and the public about your services and your location. Including abbreviations for cities or states is a great idea.
2. Local Link Building.
All components of search engine optimization can be localized and this includes link building as well. Build links to authority websites that operate in the local area. For example, you can create a special directory of preferred local businesses and then link to those sites.
1. You Need Social Media.
Social media has revolutionized the world of local business. Not only will you gain increased visibility through local networks, but it will also increase your visibility in the organic search results. However, just creating a local profile isn’t enough. You need to actively engage with your followers.
These are the top 10 rules of local search engine optimization. Keep them in mind and you’ll have a far easier time climbing the local ladder.