With SEO being such a nebulous industry, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings floating around. Local business owners are the ones that often end up missing the mark. The most common mistake is trying the same SEO tactics as national or ecommerce businesses. However, local businesses do not need to show up in search engine results outside of their region. Narrowing down their SEO will help save time and money, but will also make your website far more visible to the people who count: those who can physically travel to your business on a regular basis.
So what’s so different about generalized SEO versus localized SEO?
The titles and title tags of each webpage within your website need to have your city’s name in it. Each page should have a unique title at the top. The most important keywords should be at the beginning of the title. Create some unique text to put within each page as well. Have your same keywords sprinkled throughout the content, but do not overstuff! Having the keyword in there about three times in one page is a good rule. Make sure the meta descriptions of tags are also unique.
Put your business’s address on each webpage, but make sure it is the correct one! Google punishes false business locations. Google also penalizes inconsistent business addresses, so ensure that your business address is the same in every online location.
Add internal links on some of your webpages. How many you use is up to you, but again, too much is bad. A few will improve your SEO.
Outside Your Website
Every local business needs to have their business listed on Google Local, Yelp, UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor, or other similar websites. These are some of the first places that potential customers will look online or on their phone for local businesses. However, these aren’t the only places where Google crawlers will gather data. Other data aggregators will not be seen by potential clients, but are great indexers that will boost your SEO. Neustar Localeze, InfoUSA , Acxiom, Factual are websites where you can register your business.
Having a business blog full of posts with unique content can really help your SEO. If you don’t already have a blog for your business, set one up! Create posts that will interest your readers and relate to your product.
On top of using your product keywords, use your local area keywords. Write posts about local attractions, events, and other pertinent topics.
Figuring out specialized SEO can be tricky. It will require a lot of research, particularly into the techniques that are “black hat” that Google will punish. Look into many different sources for lots of ideas.
For some local business owners, the best solution might be to hire an SEO expert. Dedicated experts have done the experimenting and know what works best for each area. Go to this website to learn more about SEO products: http://www.fiber.net/content/seo-utah/.
Dorfman, Adam. “4 Terrifying Local Search Marketing & SEO Mistakes.” http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2299709/4-Terrifying-Local-Search-Marketing-SEO-Mistakes. (28 Oct. 2013).
Young, Wesley. “Best & Worst Ways To Influence Local SEO Rankings.” http://searchengineland.com/best-worst-ways-to-influence-local-seo-rankings-169840. (29 Oct. 2013).
Shotland, Adam. “How To Do Local SEO For Your Website in Five Minutes (or So) – 2013.” http://www.localseoguide.com/how-to-do-local-seo-in-five-minutes-or-so/. (29 Oct. 2013).