Local Search Engine Optimization Retakes the Spotlight
While many national brands continue to focus their efforts on national branding on most levels, there is a renewed trend for both local and national companies to focus on their local market both online and off. For companies with a web presence, that means emphasizing efforts for their local SEO, Search Engine Optimization.
Local SEO vs. SEO
To prequel this paragraph, let’s look at the reason for SEO overall.
Search Engine Optimization is the process followed to increase a websites visibility through higher page rank via any given web search engine, like Google, Bing or Yahoo. In other words, a site with effective SEO can be found on page 1 of any of these web engines and maintains that position over time. To ensure good traffic for your website, focusing on effective local SEO is vital to converting site visitors to customers.
That being said, Local SEO offers the same results, but for a more regional search area. The benefit? If your company has an office in the Chicago area that you want to increase business for, then you would focus your SEO efforts for that particular branch, so web shoppers in the Chicago area would locate your local branch, in lieu of other sites or your national headquarters. This works for smaller, locally-operating businesses just as well.
Three Key Points for your Local SEO Plan
1. Google Places – Set up a Google Places listing for any branch or local office allows any web user to find local businesses using keywords. * The keyword search combined with the local addresses attached to the web users computer’s IP address brings up any local business that fits the keyword at the top of Google’s first page. Businesses can list hours, location, business description and contact information for easy access to potential customers.
- *Keywords are simply the search terms used by web users to find the information they desire on the web. Looking for a local web marketing company in the Chicago area? Search “web marketing Chicago”.
2. Content Marketing – Backlinks are the most reliable and fastest way to increase their web rank, and by applying geographic locations to their target keywords, like the “web marketing Chicago” example above, allows for the articles posted by local branches or businesses to increase local SEO.
- It works this way: Company X writes an article and posts it online to article marketing sites using the keyword “web marketing Chicago”. The article marketing sites have the url of Company X’s website in the author profile of the post. Company X can also include links in the text to their website url. Each time a reader of the post clicks back to the web url, it creates a backlink for the website based on the “web marketing Chicago” keyword. Each of these backlinks increases local SEO.
- Tip: Consistent and high-quality content (original and well-written) works best for content marketing. Some other forms of content for this type of local SEO application are blogging, Social Media content like tweets or Facebook posts.
3. Niche Directory Submissions – Submitting a web url to niche directories, those that include categories for your business type, can also enhance local SEO. Be sure your keywords for the directory submissions include long-tail versions of your keywords that include your local SEO goals. For example:
- Keyword: web marketing company
- Local Goal: Chicago
- Long-Tail Keyword options: Chicago web marketing company, web marketing Chicago, web marketing company Chicago, Chicago web marketing
Think of local SEO as your local store front signage on the web. Work at it consistently, with specific keywords and local goals .You will see an increase in your local web ranking over time, which will in turn generate more calls from local prospects and customers.