Millions of websites and blogs are being launched every day. This makes it difficult for small business owners to promote themselves and gain exposure online. Many of them don’t know what to do to reach their target audience on the Internet. Since over 93 percent of online experiences begin with Google or Yahoo, it’s essential to optimize your website for the search engines. Local SEO can save your small business and bring you thousands of new customers.
Do You Really Need Local SEO?
Statistics show that more than 59 percent of customers use Google to find information on local businesses. About 75 percent never scroll past the first page of search results. The top listings on Google receive over 33 percent of the traffic. Approximately 70 percent of the links people click on are organic. Local SEO is vital to your success. If your website isn’t optimized for local searches, you’ll lose potential clients.
Local search engine optimization can be just as difficult as regular SEO. This form of marketing requires commitment and hard work. You can’t expect to get results overnight. Whether you run an online store, a physical therapy clinic, or a PR agency, it’s essential to set up a website and optimize it for local searches. From customer reviews to web directory submission and content marketing, there are various local SEO strategies that you can try.
Start with Keyword Research
Try to identify the words and phrases used by potential customers who are searching for your products online. For example, if you sell dresses in New York, optimize your website for the following keywords: New York wedding dresses, cocktail dresses in New York, party dresses New York, or bridal dresses in New York. You can also include the street or the neighborhood’s name.
When it comes to local SEO, it’s recommended to target industry-specific and geo-specific terms. Optimize your website for these keywords. Include them in blog posts, headings, titles, and pages. Keyword research is a vital part of search engine optimization.
Submit Your Website to Local Directories
Local directories are similar to the Yellow Pages. As a business owner, you need to submit your company’s name, contact information, and website details to the most relevant directories. Provide a brief description of your business and encourage people to visit your blog. If possible, include photos and keywords.
Add Your Business to Google Places
Google Places is a free service for local business owners. By submitting your contact information, you’ll rank higher on the search engines and enjoy greater visibility online. The key is to provide accurate data so that Google can link your business to a physical location. Don’t forget to list your website along with relevant keywords.
Ask for Customer Reviews
Ask your customers to leave reviews and write about your products and services. This will boost your rankings and make your business stand out. Many websites, including Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo! Local, and Citysearch, allow users to post reviews and exchange information about local brands.