People often believe SEO can’t serve them mainly because they have exposures in only few geographic locations as brick and mortar stores. Larger audiences of search engines are beyond their purview. Do you keep such believe in your mind? Think harder. Search engines are eyeing local markets. Google, Yahoo, Bing and other reputed online and mobile search engines are increasingly targeting geo-location specific searches. From their eagerness it seems next search engine war will be fought on our backyards only.
Technically local searches are typically those with geographic modifiers. People do not only want to know what, how or why, but they are interested more into where. This makes local searches very lucrative in business sense. Many SEO and search engine experts believe local searches are more transaction oriented. This is because people specifically ask for location to reach out to the service provider or product seller.
But what is there for you in these local search engines? After all, as we said, you just own a brick and mortar shop. Answer is more visibility. Near 93% people are checking local searches before making any transaction decision today. Whatever product or service you deal with local SEO you will enjoy better exposure to your target audience. So, you must know useful SEO tricks to optimize different local search platforms in your favor.
Identify your target base
Any marketing and sales process starts with identification of prospects. Local SEO is no different. Get a clear idea on who will be interested in your product and services. What keywords and phrases they are using while searching for those products and services? This is important because keywords are important search criteria even in local level too. Keywords you use will help search engines to rank and list your name on any search result page for any particular product or service query.
Local search is more about reaching out to the sellers’ and service providers’ location. So your contact details and address must be visible discreetly on you webpage. Every page should have them in either header or footer or on both parts. This will help your prospect to contact you as soon as they think on reaching you with least effort.
Directory and yellow pages listing
Directories and yellow pages are traditional avenues of location specific marketing. Check which directories and yellow pages doing well in your target locations. There must be many of them. But few common online directories are Yelp, Insider Pages, Citysuares.com and MojoPages.com. Similarly, SuperPages.com, YellowPages, InfoSpace and Switchboard.com are dominant among online yellow pages. There are offline versions too and you cannot avoid them either.
Newspapers with nationwide circulation are more visible no doubt. They cover wider varieties of stories too. But according to National Newspaper Association local newspapers are not lurking far behind too in terms of readership. Near 73% of people, in a survey, claimed that they at least once a week check local newspapers. That’s a huge base indeed. Many of those local newspapers have online versions too. Use them in your local SEO. Release press updated on these newspapers. They will not only draw people’s attention but will work as a marketing content for your local SEO drive.
Use keywords in your page titles
Often people make the mistake and write plain vanilla page titles. Are you doing that? Don’t repeat from next time. Your page titles are first piece of information that people and search engines encounter. Use page specific keywords in your titles and don’t use any general title for pages. Title should not contain only keywords because that sounds weird. Try to make them reader friendly too. In local search titles often drive traffic to your site. Often you see traffic coming on to only few pages. In that case you can channel that traffic to other pages with intelligent internal linking. That will boost up your overall website traffic.
Local search platforms
Google has Google Place for local business searches. Similarly Bing and Yahoo have their own local search pages. Try optimization skill on Google local business center, Yahoo local merchant, Ask business search and other search engines. Try both free listing and paid listings.
Add images and videos related to your business and location. They give your site a local flavor. You don’t need to spend huge on them. You need only decent looking video and images on what you do, how you do and where you do. These are simple basics that you can shoot with any decent digital camera and camcorder. Don’t try hard to make them viral. They need not be. These stuffs are for introducing your business to prospective visitors; they will have a basic idea on what they can expect before hitting the store. This article is no list-all on local SEO of course. In fact, SEO is an art that depends more on nature of your business and market. But basic strategies that we have discussed here will give you some head start in the fiercely competitive local market.
Source : oceanshaman.blogspot.com/2012/02/seo-tactics-for-local-search.html