Local SEO is the process whereby a business makes themselves more visible to local customers on the Internet. Many people make the mistake of thinking that local SEO is just a way to manipulate the system and get your site higher up in the search engines results pages. However, it’s not. Local SEO is simply a way for you to give your website a better chance of competing against other sites for the same customer base. It’s advertising at its best. However, rather than convincing people that your products or services are better, you are convincing a robot that your site is more relevant. Here are some of the most important aspects of Local SEO that you need to ensure that you are incorporating into your site so that you can be more competitive.
The pages of your website all must have a title. Not only do they need a title for local SEO purposes, but they also need one for end user functionality. Since you need a title anyway, it won’t hurt to optimize them with a little local SEO magic. Here’s what you need to do:
• Put your name in the title tag
• Add the keyword that you used to develop the page
• Add the location of your business in the title
• Keep it to 70 characters, with spaces, or less.
2. Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions is also something that many people overlook. Every page should have one, so while you’re at it, optimize them for local SEO. Meta descriptions tell webcrawlers more about what a web page is about, making them a prime place to add a little local SEO magic.
• Put your name in the meta description
• Add relevant information
• Sprinkle in your targeted keyword
• Finish with the location of your business.
The key to a good meta description is that it is short, 155 characters with spaces, and reads well so that it doesn’t come across as spam to the crawler.
3. Address In The Footer
This is an easy quick hit that so many sites miss. Simply add the pertinent of your business to the footer of every page. Having your business name, address and phone number at the bottom of your page makes it more relevant to local search engine results.
4. Local Business Directory Profiles
This is also a relatively new part of local SEO, but quickly becoming a very important part. You need to set up business profiles on all of the search engine local business directory pages. Google Places, Bing Maps, Yahoo Local and more. Claim your business listing and complete the profile with consistent pertinent information. And then make sure that you add pictures, videos, and other interesting media and information
5. Embed Maps
After you complete your profile, embed maps from Google Maps that show your location in your contact page. Not only is this helpful for customers, it also has a huge impact on getting your website boosted to the top of local search engine results pages.
6. Get Reviews
Word of mouth advertising has taken on a whole new life thanks to the Internet. Consumer reviews are one of the things that can make or break a business. So, while you need to have a presence on sites like Yelp, Gype, Tipped and more, you need to make sure that the reviews are honest and (hopefully) positive. Encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business, but be sure that you don’t wind up in the same bucket that so many other businesses have that have paid for an onslaught of positive reviews.