Local SEO is becoming a significant factor in attracting customers were searching through smartphones and tablet devices. Local SEO may sound brand new to most small businesses. But it is based on SEO tactics that experts have used for years now. The major difference is an emphasis on keywords that are associated to a metropolitan area, phrasing in the descriptions that show up for local search, and on review platform that are typically accessed by mobile phones.
This means businesses that people typical look for locally – pharmacies, pizzerias, restaurants, barber shops, auto repair shops, banks, laundromats, and other services – must have a website well tailored to local search and to have a robust presence on review platforms that are sharable on social media.
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The customer segment that search for services are strategically important because as they discover a business through their smart device, the customer will likely decide to call or contact that business. That means that the customer is ready to purchase? and your business can potential increase sales, registrations, or any other online activity.
I sat down with Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers to showcase basics tactics that are used with Local SEO. You can view our talk in the recorded Google Hangout below.
One tip which I provided in the hangout is the ability to track character count when modifying the title and page description of a web page. The reason for this spreadsheet tactic is to permit a better focus on arranging keywords relative to the page, title, and URL rather than worrying about the character count. Exceeding the character count will not provide any benefit in a search query and can cut off information to display and describe their services in a way that will appear in a Facebook post in a tweet.
Consider the following as best starting points in initiating a local SEO strategy (and some of the following ideas reiterate points raised in the hangout):
- ? ? If your business is serving a metro area, such as Houston, Chicago, or Miami, make sure your site indicates a metro area in key elements. Plan on a metro mention in the meta description of a page as well as within content in the <H1> tags.
- ? Picking a domain URL with a metro is a best choice if the business is kept local. Otherwise consider subdomains with a metro mention, such as www.yourbiz.com/chicago-pizza for a page or even better, a landing page.
- ? Pick an email with your company name in it, as in email@example.com, rather than firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Besides avoiding some questions on professional quality in some instances, your email address can also be set with a metro mention which helps when email and website are verified with Google Plus (see the next point)?.
- ? Create a Google Plus Business Page change the URL to a custom URL reflects the name of the business instead of the generic series of numbers that are issued. On the profile About? page, scroll down to the ?Links? section where the old Google+ URL? is displayed. It will show the if you would like to switch to the new personalized URL? question.
- ? Plan a Google Plus Local page content with verified email and company website. Build the profile with circles (in other words, followers) and share information regularly. Be sure to add metro descriptions where appropriate, as well as link to other local sites that are associated with your product, service, or business.
- ? Consider linking the Google Plus page to Google Maps. Doing so makes it easier for customers to find locations for a small business chain. Log in to Google+ Pages and enter the ?Manage this page? section to reach the setting to associate the local page to Google Maps. To associate, navigate to the Dashboard settings, then to the profile section to select a page to associate to maps.
- ? Research and choose a review site like Yelp or Lawyers.com where customers can provide reviews and where your business can respond to comments as needed. Consider how to link these sites to the company website and encourage customers to give their review where possible. Make sure new reviews are added over time.
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