If you are a small business website owner and you have not been taking advantage of all that local search has to offer, you are definitely losing out to your competitors. Optimizing for local search is absolutely necessary if you want to drive targeted local traffic to your website.
If you are interested in optimizing for local search, you have to understand that it takes the same effort as more traditional SEO, which is still important. However, there are other things you need to do to boost your search engine rank locally.
Here are a few of the ways that you can make your website more local:
Use Google Places
If you have not already, you need to set up a Google Places account and fill out all of the information. Also be sure to include photos, coupons, product offerings, and videos. Don’t forget to use your keywords too.
Use Geo-targeted Keywords
Be sure to include any targeted city names in your title, meta tags and content. Also, make sure that “about us” and “contact us” pages target local keywords, as well.
Reviews and stars can go a long way, so be sure to encourage reviews with promotional offers and request feedback through social media, mailing lists, or anywhere else you can.
Speaking of social media, make sure that you use it wisely. Because it is so community and relationship driven, it is a great tool for optimizing locally.
Get Local Links
When you get links from other local businesses (not competitors) it helps to build your local network online.
There are so many business directories out there that can give your business solid links to improve your ranking and make it easier for local searchers. Directories include Yelp, SuperPages, CitySearch, and so many more. Of course it is just as important to get listed on the websites of your Better Business Bureau and local chamber of commerce.
People often use their mobile devices when searching locally, so be sure to have a mobile version of your site in place.
These are just a few of the ways to get your website optimized for local search. Of course, traditional advertising in the local newspaper does still matter as well. Just don’t forget to include your website address or Facebook page address in your ad!