One of the benefits of the new trend in mobile Internet usage has been an increase in consumer demand for localized search. Users are out on the town and looking for new businesses to visit and they are using their mobile devices to find them. Google has responded, giving users what they want and giving marketers a whole new opportunity for search optimization.
Users receive the same search results page that they are used to, however the page now includes a local map that features markers that represent local businesses with links to their Google Places pages. Because they are more relevant to the user with regard to location, these listings will usually be posted in a higher placement than non-local organic search results.
It is important to get your business listing optimized so you can reap the benefits of this latest marketing trend. When followed correctly, the tips below will help you to reach out to your local target market in a whole new way and give you an edge over your competitors.
Step One: Are You Optimized for Local SEO?
A lot of websites are optimized primarily for the market, products or services that they sell – not for localized search. Make sure that you include the address, local phone number and other information on your website that will show visitors that you are indeed a local business. While you are fine-tuning your site’s SEO for local users, make sure to check your overall search optimization to make sure you are properly targeting your consumer demographic. Make sure your site content is fresh and updated regularly, utilizing keywords and key phrases in your HTML tags.
Step Two: Do You Have a Places Page?
These pages can be optimized to get the most value out of this local SEO opportunity. Your best bet is to look at what other similar businesses in your area have done by searching at www.google.com/places. For example, if you own a business in New Bedford, Massachusetts, you will put in the city name and the state, as well as the name of the business. Some marketing programs will create a page for you. If there is already a page listed for your business, make sure to claim your page right away. Once you have access to the page, verify that your website, street address and phone number is correct. Add your logo as well as any photos or videos you might have for best results.
Step Three: Does Anyone Link to Your Website?
More than ever before, it is important to get your website listed on local directories within any categories that are relevant to your business. You will still want to check the ranking of the directories before you consider submitting your URL for a listing. The higher a site ranks and the more relevant the listing, the more your own website’s rank will be boosted. You can also look into getting a paid listing in a local directory, particularly if that directory gets a front page listing in the engines for your most relevant keywords.
Step Four: Are You Socially Networked?
Social media networking is not just a popular marketing buzz term, it is a requirement if you want to create a successful online presence. Make sure your site is listed on Facebook, Twitter and any other social network that is used by your target customer base. Make sure to take advantage of local search opportunities within the social networks as well. Using the example above, you would make sure to check the listings within the state of Massachusetts and locally within the city of New Bedford to attract more local followers and fans to your pages.
Step Five: Have You Been Reviewed?
There are professional review sites as well as user-based directory review sites such as Yelp that will help you to get online reviews of your business. You can also ask customers to write reviews or testimonies of their experiences with your business. All of these should be included in your Places page and on your website to increase your SEO reach within the market and local area network.
It is important to always be aware of how your SEO efforts are affecting your website traffic and in-store business. You should always use a traffic analysis tool or program to measure your results. If you would like a free review of your local search engine optimization strategy, contact New Bedford Internet at 508-415-8648.