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On Creating a Local SEO Strategy

Most business owners grasp the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), but they may be missing the local picture. Your SEO efforts could be bringing people in from all over the world, while locally sourced customers are not being reached — at least to their full potential. Here’s what you can do to make your SEO strategy local.

Get Listed Locally

In creating a local SEO strategy, you can reach people through local listings. All three of the major search engines — Google, Bing and Yahoo — provide ways for you to list your business.

The advantage here is that you can tell the search engines things about your business as the business owner. Share your work location, business hours, phone numbers, web address, photos and other information related to your business. Control the narrative and you’ll share information that others may not know.

Locally Optimize Your Pages

You can update your website to include your information. Your meta and title tags are ideal places to insert the city and state where your business can be found. This option is especially important when locally-based content is served.

On your main page, confirm that the information about your business is correct. Customers should know where you are located, what hours your business is open, how to contact you and what category of business you are. Just as you’re informing your customers about your business, you are also confirming with the search engines that information.

Get Reviewed

Business reviews scare some business owners. Nevertheless, you cannot escape them and you should encourage them. If you are worried about a slew of negative reviews, then you need to examine how you are conducting your business. You may be doing something that turns off your customers, a practice that should be changed to improve your business.

Reviews can be conducted on a variety of sites, including Yelp, Google Reviews and CitySearch. Moreover, those reviews often appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs), therefore endeavor to elicit feedback from your happy customers.

Make Photos Work for You

Mostly everyone likes to take photos. And the less camera shy people among you like to appear in them. Chances are you use photos on your site, but are you making good use of them?
Indeed, no photo is complete without related captions that tell a story. Include your business name as well as your city and state in the “ALT” tags and upload photos to sites like Google My Business that take them. Your photos, just like your content, will appear in the search results, providing yet another way for people to find you.

Exchange Links, But With Care

Google frowns on link exchanges, as they assume that payment was extended for the service. You, however, can include links to other businesses, but do so judiciously. That means linking to a business in a story, such as a round up of local businesses.

Avoid the typical “link to” page and don’t like to any business simply because it is local. Instead, link to a business that you feel your customers would like and with a satisfying reputation to go with it.

Never Stop Innovating

One of the challenges of local SEO is finding the right kind of strategy for your business. Frankly, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that will work. Instead, you need to explore the avenues that best work for you, measure them and adjust accordingly.

Chances are you will incorporate a variety of strategies to help you reach your goals. By remaining flexible and open to new possibilities, you can make a difference in all that you do.
Tag : SEO
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