July 30, 2014

Local Search Strategies For Small Businesses

Harness your local mojo and increase your local search visibility with these online marketing strategies.

Location Location Location or local search is as important for online businesses that are targeting a certain regional area as it is for real estate and buying houses. Local SEO can drive pre-qualified leads to your website who are already interested in buying products and services from an online supplier in your locality. All you need to do is convert them. Sound easy? Here are seven tips to keeping it local and increasing your revenue.

Using location-based keywords

Add the location of your business to your keywords. Potential customers who are looking for companies in a certain region will most likely use longer tail keywords to narrow down their search. So if you are a gym based in Castle Hill, your keyword portfolio would include ‘Castle Hill gym’, ‘gym in Castle Hill’ and other variations. They usually have lower search volume but targeted local traffic will lead to higher conversion rates.

Optimising landing pages

Help Search Engines recognise you are local to a certain region by optimising landing pages with the location-based keywords you have carefully chosen (see above). If possible, optimise each landing page with a different keyword or keyword phrase. As per SEO best practice, they need to be inserted naturally and seamlessly within the text and code. Optimise landing pages by inserting keywords into the:

  • URL
  • Description and title tags
  • Headings
  • Body text
  • ALT image tags
  • Anchor text

And make sure to mention you street address on every page of your website (preferably in the footer area) + on the contact page. This helps Search Engines determine the area you’re in.

Collecting citations

Citations are a trust factor in SEO and can help improve your local rankings. A citation in the context of local search is where your business name has been mentioned along with your street address and preferably a local phone number (NAP). It doesn’t have to include a link to your website but makes for the ideal citation. Citations need to come from quality, trustworthy and relevant websites. These may include:

  • local directories
  • review sites
  • suppliers’ and affiliates’ websites
  • business associations or the local chamber of commerce
  • competitor analysis

Local search link building

It is important to target localised websites in your region for local link building. As per citations, they need to be trustworthy, credible and have high authority and relevancy. Search Engines prefer that link building is done organically and developed over time. They will get suspicious if a new website has 1000 links back links in just one day. You can find local link building opportunities via local blogs, forums or social media sites..

Google Place Pages Optimisation

Google Places Search introduced in late 2010 plays an increasingly important role in local SEO. Places Search merges map results with organic listings. This typically occurs when you search for a product or service followed by a location or vice versa such as ‘Sydney gyms’. By optimising your Place Page, you not only improve your local Search Engine rankings but also add value for people visiting the page.

Local social media

With the growing popularity of social networks such as Foursquare and Facebook Places, it is an important space for local businesses and has the potential to be a strong driver of pre-qualified leads. They allow people to post where they are, connect with friends nearby and share deals via portable devices. When people check into Facebook Places, the updates appear on the Place page, their friends’ News Feed and the Wall.

Local pay per click

If you are aiming at a local market, online advertising campaigns should also be localised. Local keywords are better targeted and result in a higher click through rate which will in turn help with your Adwords quality score. Targeting local keywords usually have a lower level of competition which reduces the bid price for keywords but increases local conversion rates – a win win for businesses.

Begin your local SEO campaign today and watch your revenue improve as you convert local leads into sales. SEO Works is a full service SEO agency with SEO experts, link building analysts, SEO copywriters and a web development team. Contact them to find out more about how you can put your stamp on local search rankings with cleverly targeted SEO strategies to reach your conversion goals.