There’s been a lot of talk about local SEO lately but so many businesses have yet to implement it into their online marketing plan. The fact is you can’t ignore the amazing potential of local SEO.
According to a study done by Linkdex which examined the ranking variations across 10 different locations, 70% of companies who rank in the top 30 on Google for a location based search don’t rank for the same keyword for all other locations.
Adam Stetzer wrote a really great blog post in SEW on why small businesses should love local SEO. We recommend you check out the article. It gives you a nice overview of how to think about your online marketing in a more competitive search environment.
But local SEO is hardly a new game. But for some reason, far too few companies are optimizing their website for local search markets, despite the fact that they’re heavily invested in SEO or PPC. So if you’re just optimizing your website for keywords but not your location, you’re probably missing out on easy opportunities to increase traffic generation. This is particularly important for merchants that rely heavily on nearby customers that are making an impulse purchasing decision, such as restaurants & cafes, retail stores and hotels, among others.
These kinds of customers are going about their day, and make a last minute decision to do some shopping or grab some food, so they search nearby on their laptop, iPhone, Android or iPad. You need to rank at the top of geo-targeted results at this moment, because these are the most motivated buyers possible. If you can get your website in front of them, they’re likely to convert and you have a new customer!
OK…you get it. Local search is important. But how do you optimize for local SEO? Here are five tips to improving your local SEO campaign:
1. Make sure you have a way to monitor your ranking at all your locations if you have more than one. Comparing your local and national results is also important to monitor how effective your tactics are. Don’t worry though; there are plenty of software’s that do this.
2. Prioritize your SEO across your locations. Focus on cities and locations with lower performance.
3. Check your landing pages for errors and misalignments. Nothing is more annoying to a searcher to click through only to find the landing page is targeting another location.
4. Make sure you’re registered with search engines. Online local communities like Yelp and Google+ are great but don’t forget about smaller local portals and community sites. Wherever possible, add photos, business hours, and other information to fill out the profile.
5. Create local-specific landing pages to optimize for searchers in that location or searching with that location name in their query. BrightEdge recommends that “each page should be tailored with content that is specific to that location and that content should be compelling and refreshed regularly.”
There is a huge opportunity in local SEO if you’re willing to do the work to overcome the challenges, improve on any weaknesses you find and use the data to your advantage. Local and mobile advertising is projected to reach $24 billion in 2016 so go grab your slice of the pie!
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