Local SEO is not new, ask the experts at grbrown.net, but many small & medium business owners still don’t have any idea about how to handle it or how important it is to their business. Local SEO basically means localizing your internet marketing efforts to geo-specific target markets. In layman language this is marketing for the people near you you around you. This has many advantages to it and your business can really benefit from this. After Google realized that small businesses were suffering from international SEO competition, they sort out new ways to make SMEs have an easy task in ranking high on their local Google search engine. The traditional SEO techniques and tool are still in play here but the direction of things takes a different course, it’s more local market based. Although the competition may seem reduced theoretically, well this may also be true literally depending on how you look at it, but the amount of precision and visibility efforts through good and relevant content is no less. The basic procedure for successful Local SEO includes;
*A thorough analysis and research on Local SEO marketing trends. This includes everything from competitor analysis to localized keyword research. It is important to get in touch with what your potential customers are looking for in your niche and how they find it.
*Formulate and brainstorm on the best approach to tackle the identified issues. This will probably include most of the practices associated with SEO as we know it. The most important thing to remember here is that you business contact information (NAP – Name, Address and Phone number) and descriptions need to be excellent, relevant and up to date. Nothing puts off customers more like a phone number that doesn’t work.
*Put the determined strategy to work and set thing in gear. One important factor to remember is that your business listing is just as critical as the directories you choose to submit your business information into. A good choice of local business directories matters a lot for the success of your internet marketing efforts and to ensure you are visible to the targeted local market.
*Review monthly results and stay on top of feedback. You will probably need to use Google Analytic for this although there is also the former Google Places platform that recently got re-branded to Google My Business and it works wonders if properly implemented. You can also use other similarly good or preferred webmaster tools.
*Everything not working should be scrapped off and a new plan should be charted on the board. Clearly there is no completely full proof method to go about SEO because business needs differ and what works for another may not necessarily work for you.
There are a few ways Local SEO is important to your business and they can be summarized as follows.
The Brand Recognition & Trust Factor: Building Strong Review Lists
Your brand’s image is everything to your business, it’s vital to keep this in mind. Local SEO helps you propel this to great heights by creating recognition and trust. This can be done in various ways but the most effective means is social media. That’s where the “who’s” and the “who nots” meet and build or break brands. A well designed localized social media profile (like on Facebook, Twitter or Linked In) can help your business grow in leaps and bounds in no time at all. Many businesses that have realized this already employ full time social media professionals to take care of their business within social circles and ensure all messages and comments are responded to appropriately and in a timely manner. Social media is also an amazing way to showcase your products or services because it allows you to communicate effectively using videos, text and images.
When your business information is intact and up to date, customer queries are given immediate feedback and your social media page is active you will find no need to beg for reviews. You must however match your services or products to the promises you give and ensure quality. Comments and likes or shares will help others make up their minds quickly about doing any business with you because people trust what they see and what worked for someone else. When people see good things (displayed or said) about your brand they get interested and this is good for your brand. Plus the comments can act as part of your customer reviews list off your website.
Simplified Target Market Problem Solving Oriented SEO
Local SEO simplifies everything for the local business entrepreneurs… in a way. The localized keyword research guides you to know where and what to optimize on for your business to stay relevant within your niche. It’s easier when you know what you’re working with because it will help you save time and money. Everything will be directed towards solving specific customer related issues. Time and resources that would otherwise be wasted jumping around for clues and trial & methods is spent on constructive and high yielding SEO strategies. Find out what what your customers in your industry want then package it beautifully and give it to them, your customers will love you for it. You can become a local online authority in no time at all if you get it right.
The Mobile Factor
Everything is mobile now thanks to the recent boom in smart device users. Most of the web searches are carried out on smartphones, tablets and other smart gadgets like the Apple watch and they are all geo-specific meaning the search results will be more inclined towards the current user’s location. What this does to your business is increase the market reach by tapping into this channel that carries millions of ever growing local customers. You can get this to work for you even better by including your specific location (the name of your neighborhood) in the titles of your web pages, web content, business listings, local citations and Google Maps.
Local SEO is all about getting your business into the local Google SERPs. You can find out the best way to get this done but using the strategies highlighted above. Include your business in Google Maps and make sure all the necessary details are correct and customer can be guided to your doorstep without much hassle and confusion. Make it easy for your customers to get through to you for customer care related services and that their queries are responded to quickly and with enough relevant information. Google picks all this business or brand related information to provide your potential customers with more refined and personalized search results. You are now in the light!