A lot of people are confused by local SEO. In reality, however, the principles are quite easy to grasp. There isn’t a magical formula that makes these SEO strategies work. Rather, it involves hard and consistent work. What matters, however, is that if you do it right, the effects on the page ranking and authority of your website can be massive.
Understanding SEO and Local SEO
SEO – search engine optimization – has been a bit of a buzzword for the online community for the past years. Essentially, it is the be all and end all of getting high rankings on Google. However, as always, so called ‘black hat methods’ were being developed, which meant Google had to make changes to ensure their page rankings were fair. No longer can you spam content or even a hidden page on your website with keywords, you actually have to do it right.
One of the biggest changes in SEO is that it has become localized, which is where local SEO comes in. Essentially, it means that business owners get targeted visitors, which are visitors in their own geographic location. This was a huge shift, because SEO was always global and this is now no longer the case.
So how do you get local SEO right? Hopefully, this checklist will be of benefit:
- Stick to a keyword that links to your customers, your product and your geographic location.
- Design a website that actually fits your product, but also the profile of your customer and the local culture.
- Make sure that you focus not just on Google, Yahoo and Bing, but also on all local search engines. Your goal should be firstly to have your page indexed. Ranking is secondary.
- Make sure your keywords target your local community. So for instance, if you offer cleaning services in Philadelphia, your keyword should be something like “cleaning services Philadelphia”.
- Visit the various local directories and list your sit there. Make sure that the directory is relevant to your specific services or products as well.
- Start link building efforts, but take it slow. Link building has to be natural. If you suddenly build a hundred links in a day, the search engines will believe you are spamming.
- Use social networking. Social networking is huge right now and it is easy to add localized services by adding local people to your network.
- Make sure your site is on MapQuest and on Google Maps and that your description includes your main keyword. This will help your business become more visible.
- Utilize analytics as much as possible. Not installing this means you can’t really make proper online decisions.
- Be innovative and keep your finger on the ball at all times.
These 10 steps aren’t all that is involved with local SEO, but they are some of the most important ones. It is about trying things and finding your way around the new Google rules.