If you are a small business and your target market is within your local area, then making sure that you are accessible via local search is imperative for your business. If you own a website, then it is not worth spending time on following up with leads that are coming to you from the rest of the world, since you would want to focus on local leads which have the potential to turn into real customers. We have put together a list of things that you can do to ensure that you are pulling in more leads from your target market by optimizing your local SEO campaign for local search.
Optimize your Website for Local Search
The first thing that you must do to attract traffic via local search is to optimize your website for local SEO. To ensure that your website ranks for keywords used by local market in major search engines, include your geographic keywords in the URL, H1 Tag, Page Title and page content of your website. For example, if you have a body shop in Peoria, your page title for a landing page may look like: “Body Shop Expert Service | Peoria, IL”.
By optimizing your website for local search, your business will have an edge over other competitors who haven’t done local SEO for their website. If you want to optimize your website for each town/city i.e. if you offer your services in those areas, then make sure that the content on each page is different so that search engines don’t penalize your website for duplicate content.
Write a Blog
Having a blog and then optimizing your blog posts for local search is a great way to attract the local market. It also provides an opportunity for you to discuss the services you provide to your local customers and your commitment to them. Share testimonials and case studies of work that you have done in every town where you provide your services or sell your products. And make sure that you optimize each blog post for local search. Use social networking to promote your blog in order to get inbound links.
Involve Local Bloggers and Websites
Your local SEO strategy should include leaving comments on blogs written by local bloggers and websites in your target market. Gradually doing so will establish yourself as an expert in your industry. This will also help spread your name around and local readers will become more familiar with you. Quite possibly some well known local bloggers may write feature stories about you and your business.
List your Business on Review and Rating Sites
By listing your business on review/rating sites, it is more likely that your target market will find your business easily when they search online. Here are a few of them where you can list your business for local search.
- Google Places: Google Places (now called Google My Business) is a free resource to list your business. Your business will show up in local search results when somebody uses keywords that are included in your listing. For example, if somebody searches for “doctor miami” in Google search, Google will display a list of doctors in Miami, who have registered in Google Places. The list will show up at the top before the regular search results. This can provide a great opportunity for your business to be easily found by your local market. Google’s algorithm ensures that pages that are optimized for local SEO and have good backlinks get better rankings for local search results.
- Yelp: Yelp is a popular free review website that lets its readers review businesses located in U.S. cities. They offer several categories in which you can list your local business. Get your customers to write brief reviews about your business in Yelp. In case you get a negative review, follow up with them and turn their experience around.
- Angie’s List: It is another review website, however it is not free for consumers. They have to pay a membership fee to access the website. However, as a business you can get yourself listed at no charge. By charging a fee to its members, they ensure that all the reviews on their website are authentic, which helps potential consumers determine whether they should purchase from a specific local business.