Monday, September 19, 2011

Local SEO Tips and Tricks

As many of you know, Local SEO is just as important as Organic National SEO is to your business. Since gaining rankings nationally for more generic keywords can take months, if not years based on competition and keyword strength, harnessing the power of Local SEO is terribly important for ranking fast. The top ways to rank locally is to employ some keyword research on the local level.

Do your Keyword Research
Keyword research on the local level of search engine optimization is just as important as doing it for a national program. Take into account local slang and word choice, and what the locals call your particular service. Also - pay attention to your long-tail keyword phrases; if you're not going to get specific, you're not going to rank highly for several different keywords across the board. Example: If you're a florist, don't just try to rank for Chicago Florist. Try to rank for Rose Shop in Chicago or Wedding flowers in Chicago. The key is the city you choose. Choose several cities around your area if you live in a suburban city, and don't just go for the big city if your service can be easily accessed in the city itself.

Keep your Google Place Page Updated
If you've ever searched for a service or product 'in' a city, you've probably seen a Google Map pop up with several places indicated on them with letters. These are Place Pages that companies have claimed and optimized. Make sure you claim your business so you can take advantage of the local business you can get through it.

Your Physical Address is Crawlable
If your website is Flash or the only place your address is listed is in an image, you can't take advantage of this. Google's spider bots will crawl your website and find your address - if it matches the address you've put on your Place Page, it will get ranked higher - so make sure text is not in an image.

Have your clients review your business on Google! Reviews help your page to rank higher - but make sure they're real reviews - fake reviews can get your place page AND your website banned from Google's search index.

Website Homepage Authority
The Page Rank and Relevancy of your website is important for any SEO campaign, especially local seo. In order to show up in Google's local results, you have to have a strong website and an optimized place page.

Traditional Backlinks/Inbound Links
As with any SEO campaign, inbound links to your website are important to rank Locally. Make sure you're using the correct anchor text as found with your keyword research rather than linking using your URL.

Local Directories
Submit your website to local website directories including Yahoo Local, Yelp, Judys Book, Urban Spoon (for restaurants), Insider Pages and more. You'll reap the benefits of better brand recognition and the backlink you get from it.

There you have it! Seven great ways to get started on your Local SEO campaign. If you need help, or if you'd like to talk about how we can help you with your Local SEO program, give us a call at 847.537.0067 or email us directly.