In the area of search engine optimization, one discipline that is often overlooked is local SEO. While it’s nice to be able to rank for keywords across the globe, being able to rank for local searches is sometimes just as good. Search engines are becoming more aware of local factors when providing results to searchers. If you take this into consideration with your SEO strategies, you can dominate the local market and get more business. If you want to do better at local SEO, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Claim Your Profile
One of the first things that you need to do when you are interested in writing for local searches is to claim your profile. On Google+ Local, Bing Local, and Yahoo Local, you can set up a profile for your business or claim an existing profile for it. This is essential when you want to take control of your local SEO efforts.
Complete Your Profile
When you want to be able to do well in local search, it is essential that you complete the profile fully. Upload some pictures and possibly some videos to your profile so that others will be able to see what you have to offer. The search engines give more credence to profiles with pictures and videos.
Get Some Reviews
On many of these local sites, you have the ability to get reviews from customers. When you finish the job, ask your customers to rate your performance online. When you get reviews, this helps your profile come up higher in the rankings.
Don’t Worry About Bad Reviews
Many business owners freak out over a bad review online. While you never like to hear bad things about your company, a few bad reviews aren’t going to kill you. In fact, having only positive reviews can hurt your chances of getting a customer. When someone sees all positive reviews, they may start to think that the reviews are staged. If you want to be able to get real customers, they need to see some real reviews about your business.
Include Address in Content
When it comes to making the content for your own site, you need to be sure to include your address on the pages. If you can include the address of your business on every page somewhere, this helps your chances of ranking in the search engines. When someone searches for the product or service that you offer and the name of your city, the search engines will put two and two together to feature your site in the rankings.
Participate in Social Media
When you participate in social media sites, it gives you an advantage with local SEO. For example, Google Places was recently merged into Google+. This means that your local profile has a social element to it. You can post information about events or specials and interact with other people on the site. This makes it seem like you are a part of the community and that you care about your customers.
Join Local Directories
If there are local business directories online that you can participate in, don’t hesitate to join them. This gives you a link from a quality site to your site, and it helps you in local searches. People can also come directly from the local business directories to your site. These directories are usually free or cheap, and they can pay big dividends over time.
Implement some of these strategies in your search engine optimization techniques, and you’ll start to notice a difference in getting local traffic to your business website and profiles.
Andrew Handley writes about local SEO and search results for newyorkstatedivorce.com. With the recent change from Google local business profiles to Google+ the whole local search system has changed considerably.