Winning search engine optimization battles online is a fantastic way to increase your profit margin but some businesses have a focus more towards local sales.
Even in small cities and towns consumers tend to search for what they need online before they head out the door. Businesses like restaurants, gas stations, storage facilities and real estate companies tend to go after keywords with their hometown involved.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of local seo.
Let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect your local search rankings and your online visibility in your home region.
The first and most important local seo factor would have to be local keywords. You can use the same system for Keyword Selection that we’ve used in the past, with a local focus.
If you sell art supplies in your hometown try generating keywords with your town or province included right in the keyword or keyphrase.
Example: Our business, Canopy Media, would use a keyword like website design Collingwood or website design Ontario in order to attract local organic search.
Another excellent way to increase your local reach is to complete your Google Places listing.
If you’ve ever done a local search then you’ve seen a local listing. Visually you see a map with pins on it listing the local businesses for your search geographically with additional contact information along the left side of the page.
Once your listing is complete you’ll be another pin on the map, or possibly the only one. Imagine the increase in sales if people search for your products and services and only your business comes up in the search results.
In the meantime take a look at Canopy Media’s Google Places listing to see how it’s done.
If you want people to find your business in your hometown then getting listed in local directories is another great resource.
More often than not one or two local business organizations will have business directories on their website. The Chamber of Commerce and Municipal websites are a prime example.
Generally speaking, once you join your local business community you’ll have your business listed with all the other local contributors. If the listing contains a healthy backlink to your domain that’s an even bigger boost for your local presence.
Having multiple directory listings online isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be found more easily in terms of local search but it sure won’t hurt.
The more listings and profiled accounts you can create online the better off your business will be. Here’s a few examples of website directories that work:
There are hundreds of online directory sites. Take your pick and get your business listed.
By now this should be a no-brainer. Getting involved in social media allows you to connect to a large online audience but it’s also an opportunity to connect to your physical customers.
Each time you process a real-life transaction it’s a chance to add another follow or like to your personal networks. Over time you can build up a huge body of local contacts. When it’s time for a sale let your local shoppers know with a post on social medias.
It’s important to note that different social medias work better or worse depending on the type of business you run. Make sure you pick the right social media to grow your web presence.
Web authority is a huge factor in local search. You can gather more web authority by gathering backlinks on other websites that lead to your pages. The more you have the higher your web authority.
This has the direct effect of pushing your search results rank higher in search engines and it lends authority to your Google Places listing as well.
Google actually goes to the effort of gauging your website’s authority and matching it up with your places listing. High web authority makes for a better places listing.
After going to all the trouble of creating your accounts and listings you need to stay active or all your hard work will be for nothing.
Stay active on social media, regularly check your business listings for comments and reviews and optimize your website for local keywords that work.
Following these tips will help push you to the top of local search and keep your business in touch with the local community.
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