Local SEO tips made simple

Assuming your product or service is of the local variety, people won’t be flying into town solely for the purpose of acquiring it. You supply to a demanding audience within a set geographic area.

While that sounds limiting, it’s quite the contrary in the eyes of local search. That is because your service, be it legal defense or a food truck, only has to compete with businesses in your area. Smaller region means smaller competition.

Like any SEO agency will tell you, the first step in a successful campaign is defining a tangible business objective. For local businesses, you’ve already identified your target market and region. So defining your business campaign means asking yourself: Why does my website exist? And what do I want my website to accomplish? Your SEO optimization objective will reflect your overall business objectives.

With the right search engine marketing strategy, your local business may display in Google search engine results in one of two ways: in a carousel, or in a listing format. The first format collects both organic and paid results, complete with mapping functionality. The listing format is indented from the rest of the results and prominently showcases the important points: address, phone number, and reviews if available.

SEOhaus - Google Search 2014-04-30

Here are a few local SEO tips for optimizing your website and fast results:

  • Create a Google+ Local page, or claim your page if it already exists in local search. A variety of online service can help you claim your listing, even if you weren’t the one who added it. In your new Local page, the most important factor is making sure to feature your correct address and phone number. In a recent survey by Placeable, over 70% of respondents lost trust or loyalty in a business because the address listed online was incorrect.
  • Reviews are becoming more and more important (and visible) factors in search engine ranking. This is the part of your web presence you have the least control over. Your responsibility is to provide a likable product, and politely remind customers to share thoughts. This is even more important to searchers than it is to crawlers.
  • Search engine marketing strategy is just as much about smart UX and content as it is about keywords and meta data, so make sure it’s a site you wouldn’t bounce from immediately. Make sure copy is readable and engaging without keyword stuffing, turn large chunks of text into bullets, and reduce the number of clicks required for conversion by using strong calls to action.

If you’ve found any other strategies that produced results for your local business SEO campaign, feel free to comment!

About Andy Kelly

Andy Kelly is an Account Manager focusing on local SEO and inbound marketing at SEOhaus.
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