The Top 3 Crucial Local SEO Tips
Why Do You Need to Be Concerned with Local SEO?
In a time when consumers have information at the tap of a finger, consumers are becoming more and more specific in their online searches. When a hungry college student in Baltimore, MD wants to know where the closest Italian restaurant is, he’s not going to just search for “Italian food” on Google if he’s a smart searcher. He’s going to search for “Italian restaurants in Baltimore”, or, with the help of Google’s ability to know where you are, he may just type in “Italian restaurants near me”.
A study reported on Search Engine Watch tells us that 70% of users call a business directly from the search page, thus, they never even GO to the business’ website. Suddenly, general SEO isn’t the be-all, end-all anymore. Local results not only become more relevant to the consumer, but they also bump general SEO rankings down the page a bit.
Take this Riverside CA Real-Estate website (www.Riverside4Homes.com) for example:
When a user types in “Riverside CA homes for sale”, www.Riverside4Homes.com doesn’t show up until the 3rd page in general results. The likelihood of a user going to THIS website and calling this business from this link is slim-to-none.
However, take a look at the local results on the first page. Not only does this business now enjoy showing up on the very FIRST page of Google, but they also get a direct phone number link that mobile users can simply click to call, and a nice looking feature space to the right-hand side that gives immediate photos and info about their business.
Google is, like any business, mainly concerned with retaining consumers. Google is constantly working to make its results as pin-point-precision-relevant as possible, so that every time a consumer wants quick, accurate search results, they go straight to Google. We know that searchers are looking more an dmore at local results, in fact, a recent study published at Local Vox tells us that 80% of searches that don’t yield results are followed up by adding a location to the search, it’s only natural that Google has become much more biased toward local results.
So how does your business strategically apply local SEO approaches to content marketing, blog articles, press releases, etc… like a pro, and without being boxed-in?
1- Focus On and Capture a Specific Local Market
This doesn’t mean that you have to only focus on your own business’ location, but that you create content that is relevant to specific locations that consumers will be looking for. You can be located in Raleigh, NC but still provide content that directs consumers to trends that center in Paris, or targets traffic in Dallas, TX. By doing this, you end up on first page searches of multiple local SEO search results. You control the focus of local SEO, it doesn’t put *you* in a box or limit you to just your own local area.
2- Know the Local Market, and Be Familiar
Locals aren’t stupid—they know when you’re a fake. If you’re going to target a local market, know their slang, their customs, write like them so that you can build trust and authority. Research key terms and trends, phrases, and region-specific terminology. (There is software out there to help you with this, like the ones mentioned in this article at www.smepals.com)
People like to read about what’s going on around them, so by blogging about local events, local people, and local services, you’re likely not only to gain an audience, but also to gain additional trust through other local writers linking to your content, thus allowing your content keywords to grow in a natural, organic way.
3- Pay Attention to the Little Things
Take time to find out the local listing sites, like Google Places, and then more importantly, keep your information current and accurate. If Google sees your information directing consumers to one address on half the sites, then another address on the other half of the sites, it’s going to see your business as untrustworthy, thus giving it a lower ranking.
Although Local SEO is often overlooked, this is mainly because it’s often misunderstood. It IS possible to optimize your local results without boxing yourself in, and by increasing your local SEO efforts, you’re likely to land yourself multiple top-level rankings in precision searches that will bring your consumers straight to you.