Local Business SEO: 5 Simple Things You Must Do Now
No matter how large the company or whether its B2C or B2B, at its foundation every business is a local business. This is especially true in areas like healthcare services, where people come for hands-on help.
So local business SEO becomes a vital tool for helping current and potential customers find (and choose) your company from the many others in your area.
Why is local SEO important?
Studies show that Internet users pay the most attention to only the first few “organic” (non-paid) results on the first page of a search engine result list – and they give subsequent results only a minor glance (if that much).
So if your site appears lower on the first page – or on the second page and beyond – it’s like not having a site at all! You want to be at the top of the page, and local business SEO can help get you there.
Your SEO services provider is your partner in creating tactics that push your website or other content to the top of the search result pages. When you work with a proven, affordable agency, you’ll get access to their analytic and creative expertise – but you can also take simple steps now to help boost your local SEO results.
Claim your search engine profile. Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local exist to help businesses like yours gain local SEO ground! Setting up your account involves going through some verification steps – but afterward, your site will be better optimized for good local results.
Explore long-tail keywords. If you run a chiropractic practice and your “short tail” keyword is simply one word – chiropractor – your site will compete with millions of others, including such high-rankers as Wikipedia entries and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But a “long tail” keyword, which is a phrase containing three or more locally oriented words (chiropractor downtown Denver), narrows that search to encourage more local results. Your SEO services company will help you determine the best long-tail keywords for your business.
Optimize your website and blog with contact information. When setting up your online content, include all the contact information you can supply. That means not just your company’s URL, but also your physical address, phone number, hours of operation, directions, a photo of your office, and any other information that helps identify where you are located. Google, Yahoo and Bing “crawl” web pages looking for this kind of information so that the engines can more accurately index your page. Ideally, keep some local information on every page of your site, such as in a persistent footer. Your SEO agency can design a site that integrates local contact information subtly and effectively.
Appear in local directories. The big search engines offer local business listings that can get you visitors; search for city specific directories (including your town’s Chamber of Commerce website) and niche directories in your industry that offer links to businesses.
Comment on, share and “like” other local businesses. When it comes to social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, the trick is to “give as good as you get.” Identify reputable companies that complement yours, and look for worthy local nonprofits and charities as well. Become a regular visitor to their social sites, sharing and “liking” their best content. Doing so raises your profile, especially if you include your URL in your comments.
Be a local hero
Getting found online begins with letting people know who you are and where they can find you. Ask your SEO services company about other ways to boost local business SEO for even better lead generation.