Monday, April 28, 2014

Local SEO – How To Get More Business Locally



Now more than ever getting your business found locally online is critical to your success. Mobile devices and new location sensing technology enable people to find exactly what they are looking for nearby. If you have what they want, and you show up in local searches you can acquire new customers and do more business easier than ever.
Try This Test:
If you are a business owner and you rely on people contacting you from the local area or coming to your location try this test: (assuming you have a smartphone or phone that can browse the web) Do a Google search for your products and services while you are at your business. Do you show up? If not, read on and even if you do this post may help your business become even more visible.
By the way, if you are still using a mobile phone that DOES NOT have the ability to browse the web, or have a GPS or mapping features I highly recommend you upgrade and get with the times. You ARE missing out!
The goal of SEO is to increase a business’ visibility to a targeted audience, but local SEO takes targeting even further. By focusing on customers and prospects in a specific area, local SEO can drive traffic to websites and physical bricks and mortar locations. Restaurants, retail stores, law firms, car dealerships, and even dental or medical clinics can benefit from local SEO.
An effective local SEO campaign requires a combination of geo-targeted optimization and content marketing, business listings and back links, and user-generated reviews as well as citations.
How To Optimize Your Website For Local SEO
Local SEO uses the same elements as traditional SEO does, but it requires a few specific elements as well.
  • Contact Information and Business Hours – This is the information search engines, listings or directories, and customers often look for when they first visit local business websites. A business’ operating hours and contact information, which includes its physical address and phone number, should be displayed on every page of its website.
  • Hyper Local Keywords – Keywords and phrases containing the business’ location should appear in Title tags, META descriptions, and content. Simply targeting a city or state may not be enough to drive local leads. Going hyper local by targeting even more specific communities within your city can help get more customers through your doors. Our SEO teams analyze where local website traffic is coming from and use that data to choose better geo-targeted keywords.
  • Targeting Local Markets with Content – Content marketing for local campaigns requires the same amount of creativity and quality for any other SEO campaign, but there needs to be a stronger emphasis on calls to action, influence marketing, and topics relevant to the business’ location.
  • Featuring Local Topics – Our writers create content based on what’s relevant to your business and your location. Writing about local trends or even area-specific laws that are related to your industry is always a good way to establish your authority as an information resource.
  • Creating Brand Advocates – Our writers don’t just sell or announce your products and services – they encourage customer loyalty and create brand advocates. These customers who love your brand can promote them through word of mouth and by sharing content on social media.
  • Establishing Business Identity – Establishing a business’ online identity starts with proper content attribution. We can add Google+ authorship mark-up snippets to the content we produce so that Google will display the author’s name and picture and website information in Google search results. Here is an example of that:
Managing Business Listings and Social Pages
Google+ Local may be the most popular listing website, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your local campaigns to that. We claim, verify, and manage your business listings on Google+ Local, Bing Local, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, and the Yellow Pages as well as others. You can also handle it all through Yext or a service like them that makes it easy to manage all your listings from one place.

Your local campaigns can also benefit from our social media services, which will cover your Facebook and Twitter accounts. We keep these listings and pages updated, and help you manage other content that goes onto them such as reviews, blog posts, press releases, industry information, announcements and anything your audience may find useful or entertaining.
You can also include other social networks in your campaign if they’re suitable for your business and audience. For example, if you’re a photographer, you might benefit from creating a Pinterest account. Link to these pages on your social media accounts and your website, and encourage your customers to leave reviews or check in when they visit your physical establishment.
Building Quality Citations
Quality backlinks is an important aspect of any SEO campaign, but citations are even more important for local SEO. Citations are brand mentions made by customers or other businesses on third-party websites. These brand mentions are key ranking factors in local search. Some of the most important and effective types of citations include:
  • Social or Blog Citations: Encouraging brand advocates and local influencers to talk about you in their blogs and social media accounts is a good way to acquire citations.
  • Business Listings and Reviews: Listings in business directories, local networks, and review sites in themselves are citations. Managing these listings and getting more customers to post positive reviews of your business can add more citations.
  • Guest Posts and Magazine Publications: Getting other people to write about your business in an online magazine or publishing your own articles and press releases can increase your exposure and establish your brand as a leading authority in your niche. Our local SEO packages include citation building and link development services to help
    get your brand’s name mentioned in social media, online publications, and more.
Managing Customer Reviews
Your local listings and social accounts need to have unique content that goes beyond your business description, operating hours, and contact details. The best way to get this type of content is through customer reviews.
Providing good service and quality products is not the only way to encourage customers to write positive reviews. Integrating links to your social media pages and business listings in your website, publishing press releases about your new listings, and engaging customers through online content can also get them to share their thoughts.

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