One of the best approaches to your online business marketing revolves around implementing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques. Google is the most widely used search engine, so maximizing your website placement in their search engine results will drive more traffic to your site. However, Google has recently undergone some changes in its search algorithms. The focus now seems to be on returning results based on the location of your company and the location of the Google user. If you have a physical business location, then using local SEO is of the utmost importance to drive quality, local traffic to your site and turn that traffic into new customers.
What is local SEO?
If you are a business that relies on your retail location to grow your customer base locally, then you need to focus on local SEO. The techniques for local SEO are similar to global SEO, by using keywords, meta tags, authoritative links and content. However, local SEO goes a bit deeper. For example, if you live in Atlanta and Google “car repair,” Google first returns paid advertising results and then all car repair companies close to your Atlanta location in the organic and Places results. The order of the Places results will correspond to your exact location; if you are in North Atlanta, those results will show before general Atlanta listings are shown.
Local SEO also focuses on the nuances of language to a regional area. Website content that is written for the local community will vary from global content. You can definitely tell when someone in India has written content over someone in your local market because the colloquialisms and local inflections in the language are very different. People tend to trust content that sounds familiar to them.
Mobile Devices Optimization
Analytics show that your potential customers are using their smartphones to search for businesses. Approximately 43% of all Internet searches are local searches, meaning they searched something like “Atlanta website designer.” In 2012, 50% of all mobile search queries were local searches–up 10% from 2011.
If you aren’t using local SEO, you’re losing a quality customer reach. Making sure that your website shows up on not only Google, but also Superpages and Yelp, is crucial for reaching your customer at the exact moment they are searching for you.
Maximize Local SEO
The first thing to do in maximizing local SEO is to create a local profile on Google+ and other platforms, so that your local listing is shown in search results. You want to make sure your listing contains your company name, business address and local number on every page of your website. This is what will give you the next important element to local SEO, which are “citations.” A citation is any mention of your company anywhere online, complete with address and phone number. It’s imperative that your listing is written in the same format; any deviation, such as an abbreviation of a street name, may not return the desired results in a search. Finally, you want reviews of your business. Having a quantity of positive reviews will optimize your search results.
How We Do It
We will leverage our vast amounts of experience in the local search space and ensure your business information is consistent across the Internet. We optimize your local accounts across the vast number of local listing services and websites, including but not limited to:
- Google Places
- Bing Places for Business
- Yahoo! Local
- Merchant Circle
There are so many nuances to SEO, both globally and locally, that hiring SWG may be one of your best marketing investments. SWG will develop and maintain local SEO to drive quality local traffic to your business.