Local SEO refers to the act of optimizing your web presence in local areas to bring more business to relevant local keywords from local searches. These searches are conducted on Google, Yahoo, and other major search engines worldwide. What’s important to understand is that the people who conduct these searches are not searching for the exact thing you offer; instead they are searching for it in a different way. So, if you want to rank higher in Google you need to understand this. This is why we have looked at Google Places, Google NAP and Trust Flow as important local SEO tools.
The first point to understand is that Google loves a good location – and that’s why she is putting so much focus on places like Google Places, specifically. Google likes a diverse set of placements where users can find what they are looking for. So how does Google determine the location of a specific webpage?
Well, Google looks at a number of factors to optimize a webpage for local SEO. One of the main things they look at is the page rank. That’s basically how highly Google rates a webpage. A high page rank indicates that Google considers the page to be very relevant to a search request. Google also looks at the citations on the site – they call these citations the quality score. Google wants businesses near to its service or products to cite good or excellent quality content on their sites – so if a business in your area does not cite good content, they are not going to benefit from local SEO.
The second thing, Google looks at for local search engine optimization is the social media connections. If you are in your business district, it would be smart to start a Facebook, Twitter or YouTube account. You need to create accounts for all of your preferred social media outlets and have them listed on your Google Maps. This will bring all your social media marketing efforts together – and Google loves companies that make social media part of their overall local SEO plan.
Once Google has found the site that it feels is relevant and likely to have a strong page rank and a great number of citations, it begins to optimize the website. The first step in optimizing a website for Local SEO is to find all the keywords related to your target market. Google offers a free tool called Keyword Elite that allows you to enter a specific city and get access to thousands of keyword ideas. You want to find keywords related to your business, product, and service. Then you want to incorporate those keywords into your articles, press releases and other online visibility marketing efforts.
Once you have optimized your site for those keywords, then it’s time to check to see if your rankings for those keywords are high enough to start seeing results. Google offers several tools to monitor your position on Google and others (such as OpenRank) that can show you where you stand. When you are optimizing for local search engines, make sure to look at the Google Webmaster Tools Rank and Position indicators to make sure you are ranking in the top 10 percent for the keyword you are targeting.
The next step is to take advantage of social media. The use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, and RSS feeds can generate a ton of website traffic for your company. These methods are very effective when it comes to generating website traffic from local consumers. Another great way to use local to best practices is to join a directory of local businesses. This will give your company more exposure by exposing your website to new consumers in your area that may not have heard of you before.
Once you have optimized your website for these keywords and begun implementing the Local SEO best practices outlined above, it is important to remember to monitor your progress. You should see an increase in search engine rankings and website traffic as you work to improve your online presence. You may also begin to see an increase in customer visits and inquiries. By working with your local SEO specialist and implementing these online presence optimization techniques, you will be well on your way to making more money and more profits.