When people establish businesses or refresh their marketing strategies to fit the demands of current times, one of the first things they consider is how to make their brand stand out from the competition so that people can search and find them online. Why? This is because almost everyone uses the internet to search for a product or service that they want or need. As a result, search engine optimization (SEO) has become every business owner’s favorite online marketing tool.The concern with this, however, is that businesses usually reach out to a broader target market rather than focusing more on a specific area or areas to get a steady return-on-investment (ROI). This is where Local SEO comes in and saves the day. There is no doubt that businesses want to rank highest on Google search results, but what usually affects their ranking is the fact that they are targeting multiple locations instead of just a select few.Local SEO differs from standard SEO by focusing more on getting your business’ location, operating hours, and contact numbers as visible to as many consumers as possible. The goal is to make it easier for locals to find your establishment. This involves standard SEO, but with directory listings and other techniques that would help put your brand out there.As the number of mobile and desktop searches inevitably increase, the stronger the need for a dominating presence on the web. For example, if a person residing in Phoenix is looking for an SEO company and types SEO company Phoenix into his or her mobile phone, Google makes it a point to give the user relevant search results. The goal for the business owner, therefore is to get on top of local SERPs.
Who Can Get Benefit From Local SEO?
- New businesses that want to promote their products or services to prospective clients in surrounding towns and cities.
- Small businesses that are having difficulty competing with bigger or more established companies in the area
- Business owners who want to reach out to potential clients in their respective target locations
- Entrepreneurs who want to increase overall sales and are looking for additional online marketing strategies
Achieving high visibility on the web means carefully choosing which areas to rank for so that you can effectively and efficiently pull in local traffic and direct them into your business website. Google has made several algorithm updates over the past years in order to provide users with the most relevant results. It is important that you take into consideration what the recent updates could mean for your businesses. Your local SEO strategy should reflect these changes in order to ensure that you land on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
How an SEO Company Can Help
While you can choose to develop a local search engine optimization strategy on your own and apply it to your business, seeking the help of a professional SEO company can work wonders at a higher efficiency, especially if you are new to the game. Nevertheless, here are five things you can do to jumpstart local SEO for your business:
- Keyword Research and Optimization – One misconception some people have about local SEO is that optimization is done primarily through submitting company information to local directories. However, everything will be hopeless without keyword optimization. As a business owner, you would have to figure out what industry-specific keywords with geographical targets are the most relevant to what you are offering and what ranks well.
- Claim Local Business Directory Listings – Google+ Places, Bing Places, and Yahoo are three of the most essential listings that you must claim. Set up profiles for each one and you have a higher chance of showing up on top of SERPs.
- Encourage Online Reviews – Client testimonials and reviews add credibility to your brand and play a crucial role in local SEO, so make sure your profiles in Google+ and other similar listings have positive reviews.
- Up-to-Date and Accurate Citations – Let search engines know your business is legitimate in operation by providing a business name, address, and telephone numbers in multiple business directory listings. Remember, though, that quality and authority is preferred when it comes to directory sites, so choose carefully.
- Blogging and Links – Creating quality content coupled with natural links can go a long way. If you regularly post engaging content, readers will be compelled to share your article on facebook and Twitter, which search engines can not only detect but also use to increase your ranking.
Why Local SEO?
The issue with standard search engine optimization is that the coverage can become too wide for small companies, making it too difficult for them to remain visible to their target market. It might be more practical if businesses focus on promoting their brand to at least one specific neighborhood or city rather than compete with thousands promoting the same services in the whole state. Maintaining your focus on a sizable geographic location can bring more profit because there is less competitors, which means higher chances of making it to the top spot for searches specific to that area.
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