Since most businesses rely on local traffic for their regular sales, it’s important that print and web ads capture the local audience. While it’s important to provide local contact information on the webpage, there’s a whole new way to use the internet to get the attention of old and new customers alike: local SEO.
So-called local SEO helps a search engine pull search results from your community. For example, a user searches for “Denver sushi restaurant” in a search engine like Google and receives a map of existing sushi restaurants and location information for local sushi. If your sushi restaurant had no local SEO or contact information, it would not show up on this map. If you included an address only, you might show up. But with local SEO, your business would be at the top of the list and thus more likely to capture that new customer. Plus, the marketing’s free.
Basic Elements of Local SEO
Getting started with local SEO need not be challenging if you think of it as making a series of tweaks to your website. To localize your page, you’ll need to do the following:
- Research –
Research your competitors to clarify your goals. What impression do you want users to have? What types of search queries might bring up your website? It pays to be expansive here, since you can whittle down your list later. Once you have your keywords, search them and see who comes up at the top of the list. Then study their webpages to see what you can learn from them.
- Use Analytics –
If you’re not already running Google Analytics, sign up. Allow Analytics to run for two weeks before you make any changes, so you have a two-week period of data to analyze.
- Edit Site Keywords –
To rank high in returned search results, your page needs to be keyword rich. Include local keywords in the page title, all H1 tags, the page copy and the alt tags for any page images.
- Update Contact Information –
Include your full address and contact information on every page to localize your site. Keep this in the footer to place it out of the way, yet still searchable by search engines.
- Add your Business to Local Search Tools –
If your business isn’t already on Yelp, Bing Local, Google Local and Yahoo Local, take a few minutes to create a listing. Data pulled from these sites feeds search engine queries.
It’s overwhelming to do everything at once. After you’ve tackled the first-level items above, complete these additional steps at your leisure. While you work on these items, the steps you’ve already completed will help drive local traffic to your website.
- Add your Information to Industry Directories –
Industry-specific directories that link to your site offer an additional push in search engine rankings, even if customers are unlikely to query them. Meta-directories like LinkedIn also work well.
- Acquire Links –
The more sites that link to your website, the more “relevant” you are to a search engine. Acquire links by submitting to lists, guest blogging and link swapping with relevant partners.
Localizing your webpage can seem overwhelming. Work through these steps one at a time to streamline the process and enhance your business.