SEO tips for local businesses
Although the World Wide Web has a global reach, what if you wanted to just target locally? Or, you owned a local business and just wanted the local neighborhood, friends, and people living in the city to be your target customers or target audience? It would be a total waste of time and resources to run a global SEO campaign in these circumstances. Here are some tips on how to penetrate the local competition and optimize your local business for SEO.
This is the most important thing that matters to your business. To take advantage of it, here is what you need to do. Use the location in your keywords. For example if your keyword is “web marketing company”, and your location is San Diego, then it would be better to target this term “web marketing company San Diego” or “San Diego web marketing company”, etc. What this will do is help rank your website for the people who are looking for a web marketing company specifically in San Diego.
Secondly, use the location in your content. In this case, we can use it in a h1 heading on the page, for example “San Diego’s Best Web Marketing Company.” Similarly, just plug the location in the paragraphs of your content to best describe the whereabouts of your business. Search engine bots, when crawling the page, take special account of the headings and the content, any text you may have emphasized on in bold, italics, inverted commas or quotes and even the titles, captions and alt attributes of images. So make sure to capitalize on the majority of these on-page factors.
Thirdly, use the location in your website’s meta tags. Since the page content will be having the location keyword, do the meta tags some justice as well. It wouldn’t be a good idea leaving out the location from the meta tags when the content will be filled with it. It will benefit the search engine listings and make them prominent when searched for.
2. Places and Reviews
Create your presence on Google Places and Yahoo Local, since they are usually the most shown listings on Google when searching for stuff, specific to locations. They can bring your business tons of traffic that is targeted! [Google Places – location based search results on Google, accompanied by a map of the region in question. Appearing on these results is particularly important for those businesses who operated in very specific regions, such as a plumber or hotel. – Web Definition For Google Places.]
Create your presence on product/service review sites; and ask friends, coworkers or your audience for reviews. This is great for your business, SEO and online reputation management.
Here is a list of some review sites where you can start depending on the type of your brand.
- Yelp – www.yelp.com
- Yahoo! Local – www.Local.Yahoo.com
- Google Places – www.Google.com
- Trip Advisor – www.TripAdvisor.com
- Angie’s List – www.AngiesList.com
- City Search – www.CitySearch.com
- Urban Spoon – www.UrbanSpoon.com
Get listed on both online and offline directories. People still use the yellow pages and search local business listings. You can find a good list of local business directories searching on Google or any other search engine. These directories usually allow free listings where you can submit and register your business name, its location, address, phone, email and any other means of contact, such as fax. For top place listings, some directories might ask you for a nominal fee.
The ultimate list of 50 business directories for local marketing is here:
When link-building, make sure you are using the location as a keyword in the anchor text. You can
link-build on forums via forum signatures or links in threads. You can also link-build on blogs where you can insert the location keyword in the comments section in the name field.
Create external blogs with the location in the blogs domain name, meta tags and other on-page factors that all link to your page. You can use this blog to write stories and general content or even post local news with a little secret – linking to your main website, traffic!
Another great tip is to create separate pages on your website for different locations. This will help keep everything neat and clean and much easier to link-build.
5. Social Media
If you are not targeting the social media, then you are missing out. Create local groups on Facebook or use Twitter hash tags to build a local community online and target only the people you will have an influence on.
You can also create Yahoo groups or join the ones that best appeal to your location and start communicating and promoting for free.
6. Classifieds & Local PPC
Classifieds are free and can help boost sales and increase your business’s exposure online. Whereas, if you have a budget to spend on advertising, then the best place for it is local PPC. You can run locally targeted ad campaigns that give you 100% surety of first page impressions. However, if you want to save money, or you’re on a tighter budget, then hiring an SEO expert is the best overall choice in all scenarios.