Are you Amazon.com? Yes? Then you do not need to read this. If you are a small business wondering how to increase your profile in the local area, then you need to read on. While search terms called keywords can be used to help potential customers find your business, you need to really dig into the local side of things to get the visibility you need. Local SEO is a bigger thing than it was just a couple of years ago, largely because Google changed the way that they index pages.
Pigeon and You
The 2014 update to Google’s search algorithm was a big deal in the world of SEO, since it tied it with Google Maps as well. Suddenly, local happened. It’s changed inbound marketing in ways that are really paying off for those businesses putting longer tails on their keywords, and giving them some local flavor. In addition, Google weighs history and authority when it comes to search rankings, but also wants to give searchers what they want – often local, newer, and smaller businesses that have a more personalized flavor. It takes some work and stalking yourself on Google, but it’s worth it for the longer term results.
Motion vs. Progress
The ostensible reason for SEO is to drive search traffic to a website, but if you are a small local business in, say, Fort Lauderdale do you need traffic from places where you’re not? Motion is not progress, motion is to progress what swimming is to drowning – both are done in the water, but are really not even close to being the same thing. If you have lots of traffic, but are not seeing results from that traffic, what good is it doing you? Are you making more conversions? Do you have more contacts via email or social media? By using local SEO, you may not see as much traffic, but you will see traffic that is more relevant to your business and location or you could see a large increase in traffic as all those people suddenly realize that you’re there.
Quick Points to Follow
- Make sure that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information is consistent across the web no matter where it is. This means you may need to claim profile pages on a lot of different services such as Manta, Yelp, Google+, Facebook, and so on.
- Insert local keywords and long tailed keywords into all of your landing pages. Street names, neighborhoods, cross streets, and other information helps people to find you on the web and then find you at home.
- Make sure your content is fresh, updated regularly, and of local interest. Ties yourself into the community.
There are lots of things you can do yourself to get the ball rolling, but for others, your best bet is to consult with a professional developer and SEO expert in order to get your local SEO started the right way. The sooner you move, the sooner everyone can find you.