SEO Tips to Compete Locally

How do people find a local business these days? They don’t go looking through the Yellow Pages, that’s for sure. Today, people turn to the Internet to find local products, services, and establishments. Now that more and more people are browsing on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, the information that they need is right at the tip of their fingers. If someone is in the mood for Chinese food and don’t already have a go-to Chinese restaurant they will simply type “Anytown Chinese food” into a search engine and then choose from one of the results. No matter what industry you are in, if you are operating on a local scale, you need to have a locally optimized website. If you don’t, you will be missing out on a wealth of new business opportunities. Here are 5 local SEO guidelines to follow:

Conduct National Keyword Research
The methodology behind how someone searches for your product or service is the same no matter where you are located. Don’t worry about the location when conducting keyword research. The location will be added later. National search volume is a good indicator of whether a keyword will be successful or not. If there are only a few searches for a particular keyword on a national level, that means that there will probably be none on a local level and it’s not a good keyword to target.

Keep It Simple

Typically, the website of a local business is relatively small. There is no need to try and “stuff” excess information into the content just for the search engines. That’s a spammy approach and will be a turn off for website visitors. For example, don’t create a new page of content to target every surrounding city or include a long list of zip codes in your area. It’s obvious that this is only for the search engines. Instead, focus only on the actual city in which you are located (or cities if you have more than one office location).

Activate Local Profiles
Google, Bing, and Yahoo! all allow businesses to fill out local profiles that will appear in the search results for specific related queries. Providing basic information is free. Make sure that these profiles are complete, accurate, and verified. While you can’t control the position of a search engine profile on the results page, it’s still important search engine results page real estate that shouldn’t be ignored.

Include Address and Phone Number
While it may seem obvious to include this information on a “Contact Us” or “About Us” page, this information should also be included on every other page, either in the header or the footer as crawlable text. Use a local phone number, not an 800 number. This information is important to have on every page because it confirms to the search engines where you are physically located.

Utilize PPC if Needed
Since you have limited space and content on a local business website, you can use PPC advertising in order to target additional long tail keywords or other areas. This provides an additional outlet to get your brand noticed in the search engines.

About Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing

Brick Marketing is a full service SEO solutions firm that helps companies in the United States and Canada increase website visitors. Call Brick Marketing at 877-295-0620 for a custom SEO quote.
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24 Responses to SEO Tips to Compete Locally

  1. Great tips! It’s also good for businesses to expand beyond Google, Yahoo and Bing to find other online local directories to help them get found such as listings on Yelp and Supermedia.

  2. Great tips! Many businesses emphasize on establishing their presence online without realizing that they should also focus on local search. Being present both online and offline can strengthen the exposure of your business.

  3. daniel says:

    We need to arrive at an incredible number of clients each day and SEO promotion is the best way to attempt. SEO Marketing not only pushes visitors to our website and improves our earnings, but what is essential, is to discuss to individuals that we have excellent solutions that they can use or resources that can help increase themselves and their lives

  4. Nittany Web says:

    Agreed. Also look into ads on links from the websites of your local newspapers and news stations. And of course be sure to set your city location on your facebook page.

  5. A few other prominent online directories includes DMOZ, Manta, and CitySearch.com

    These are high quality directores and their FREE!

  6. Thanks for reading and your comment!

    Take Care,
    Nick

  7. Absolutely agree. Citations are important when listing your company on another site. Try to use the same business name, address and telephone number.

  8. Houston SEO says:

    Excellent points. Google especially is incorporating local information in search results and it has become a must if you want to rank high in SERPs.

  9. Car Insurance Cincinnati says:

    I agree. As a former user of the Yellow Pages we invested tens of thousands of dollars each year into this advertising medium. This form of advertising is less and less effective As people turn to the Internet to find the products and services that they need.

  10. Tom says:

    I have a home based business with my old adress on my website. My site is only about a year old. I have done much seo for the old adress otherwise. Question; if I change adress on my new web site to my new adress, will I take a hit? Ps because of the nature of my business (babyproofing) no one ever comes to my adress. Thanks in advance

  11. Seo Services says:

    Hi,

    I am an advanced SEO specialists, and have enjoyed reading your article. Keep up the good work.
    i have some question to clear but i am short of time will come back to ask.
    Site Bookmarked.

  12. With google adwords you can now draw a map of the area you want your ads to appear in – very local!

  13. incredible tips. It will help in SEO projects…

  14. Paul says:

    Some very good tips here thanks very much, also some good comments I didnt know about Manta or CitySearch thanks

  15. Bree Stella says:

    I work for an Ottawa SEO company that focuses on local search. Your tips provide great opportunities for writing rich content that will actually be engaging for site visitors. And not all people are aware of the important of local search and Google Places, so I completely agree with you.

  16. page, either in the header or the footer as crawlable text. Use a local phone number, not an 800 number. This information is important to have on every page because it confirms to the search engines where you are physically located.

  17. John Rohos says:

    Also, i would recommend adding rich snippets – star ratings, for example – to get more exposure.

  18. Heinz Rolf says:

    I am not convinced about this “local” strategy. Internet is made for over regional purposes. Many business do not have any local objectives.

  19. I like the theme of your weblog. Is it free one or paid one? I too want the same theme for my weblog. I will bookmark it keep posting.

  20. Agreed. Also look into ads on links from the websites of your local newspapers and news stations. And of course be sure to set your city location on your facebook page.

  21. I am an advanced SEO specialists, and have enjoyed reading your article. Keep up the good work.

  22. Jessica says:

    Don’t only limit your profile for personal promotion but become a niche expert. Share exclusive content from web in your niche. T

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