Local SEO: The Key to Growth for Small Businesses

The answer to helping smaller businesses rank higher in their specific region is utilizing local SEO as much as possible. While sites like yellowpagesunited.org are great places to stay up to speed on local search news, ensuring that you’re making steps in the right direction is extremely crucial in optimizing growth in small business. By listing in local search engines, small businesses have the opportunity to create an online presence with a small budget, all while increasing their rankings in a specific region. Be sure to keep in mind that local search and local SEO are essentially the same thing, and there is no reason for any local business not to be present in local search engines such as Google+, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local.

When building business ratings locally, first step you should always be registering in Google Places. Registering is easy- just make sure you have your address listed on every page and in the title of the contact page. When utilizing Google Places, mention areas, streets, and nearby shops that are local to your business. For example, use references like, “Across the street from the Starbucks on West 3rd Street and Santa Monica” to further assist potential customers in understanding where you are on the map. Try and be as obvious as possible when doing so – Google knows exactly where things are but people often do not.

Local SEO

Sample search displaying local search results

Utilizing local SEO creates less competition in the same space. Searching for something specific like a hairstylist locally by a specific city or county is much less difficult than searching for one nationally. You should have luck in working with neighboring blogs, websites, and community pages that know your business from word of mouth or seeing it in the neighborhood. They can link mentions to your website, making it visible to the people you’ll want to see it. In addition, obtaining backlinks from local sites by sponsoring an event or donating to charity is also a key move in excelling in local SEO. People like supporting small businesses, so always ask for positive reviews and direct people to these pages as much as possible. The more positive reviews you have, the more new customers will want to visit you. This technique is also better for the wallet. Local websites may not offer you advertising space for free, but they will surely allow you to buy a banner or text link for much less than a bigger, national site.

It is apparent that the smart phone is becoming a key source to search for local businesses. Listing your business on a local map is an excellent decision for small companies that want to be found by people on-the-go that are in the need of a specific good or service at that immediate moment. Ensure you have a mobile version of your website that is readable and reliable on smart phones or this may sway potential customers away. Encourage customers to “check-in” when they visit your business – this will show up on their Facebook page along with your “Place.”

About Steve Baik

AddMe.com is a pioneer in the free search engine submission industry and has been providing valuable web tools and resources for small business owners since 1996. Sign up for our free newsletter to receive the latest info on SEO and Internet Marketing.
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8 Responses to Local SEO: The Key to Growth for Small Businesses

  1. It became a golden rule rather than a choice, given recent Google’s top listing of local results. Thanks for reminding pal.

  2. Touch Point says:

    Utilizing local SEO strategies should be a top priority for every local business. It can make a huge difference in your rankings in local search and in the number of new customers that you attract. Obviously, Google Places/Plus Local should be one of the first places that you start. But don’t forget about Yahoo Local and Bing Local, and the other big-name online directories such as Yellow Pages and Localeze, to name just a couple.

  3. Local SEO is only going to get more competitive. Now if Google could figure out this mess they call Google Plus Local maybe the local business person could participate easier.

    Chris

  4. John says:

    This is definitely something that will only continue to grow as even Mom and Pop store being to understand the new of an online presence. I can only imagine what Google Plus will do in the coming year to help businesses diverse their brand awareness.

  5. The growth in local search is very powerful – new sites are pinging straight to the top of the results for long tail keyword dense local search enquiries.

  6. louisa says:

    I also found this interesting article where it explained a local keyword phrase. A local keyword phrase is generally one or two words combined with location that are used by advertisers in search engine optimization, or by visitors who are using search engines in a desire to find information based on that particular local phrase. For example, an advertiser that provides local plumbing services might use “Plumber Morristown, NJ” as a local keyword phrase to draw more visitors interested in the topic. On the other hand, visitors to a search engine looking to hire local plumber would also use the keyword phrase “Plumber Morristown, NJ” in the search engine, which would then match the local keyword phrase with websites like that of the advertiser that mention the same local keyword phrase. http://www.geoseo.net conducts market research and local keyword research to determine the best targets for your website visitors. While you may have a list of twenty local keywords that you want to target, you must consider each as a separate campaign. Why?
    It’s really simple; search engines like Google rank pages and you need to give them what they want to rank your page. To give them what they want you must provide the content that they’re looking for and send enough links to your pages to let the search engines know they are relevant and important.
    And, never forget the local customer. It does you no good for a local search term if your content doesn’t include location you serve. Please watch video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHVIZR4Ek1Q&feature=youtu.be.
    Note: search keyword phrases that are used in Meta Tags content are no longer frequently used by search engines to index pages. Major search engines such as Google no longer look for keyword phrases in the Meta Tags, and are more apt to use the information within the actual text of the web page. Listing the local keyword phrases in the in Meta Tags does not do any harm though, but is completely up to the website to whether they will use local keyword phrases in the in Meta Tags content.

  7. Carolina says:

    Yes, I agree with Louisa, that local keyword phrases draw more traffic to your site. I also used geoseo plugin, which gave my website more local keyword related pages.

  8. Jessica says:

    This is definitely something that will only continue to grow as even Mom and Pop store being to understand the new of an online presence. I can only imagine what Google Plus will do in the coming year to help businesses diverse their brand awareness.

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