OK, so these are not REALLY secrets because anyone that is a student of search engine optimization can easily find these tips out there on the world wide web. But, I did want to share with you some of my top tips for Local SEO. If you own a local business, that serves a local geography you should take some steps to make sure your site is being seen by potential local customers. So how do you do that?
- The very first thing you should do is claim your Google Places listing and link it to your website. Google Places is the area where the business owner can log in to their Google listing to add photos, business information and reply to google reviews. This is in the process of all being rolled into Google +, but for now you claim your business and update your information in Google Places. This will add authority to your listing and help you rank better.
- Speaking of Google +, Google is now displaying results for local businesses in Google +, set up an account, set up a business page and verify that site with Google by linking your website to Google +. This will give you some search engine juice pretty quickly. Another pretty cool feature of Google + is that if you post a new page link to Google + it will be indexed by the search engine very quickly, sometimes the same day. No surprise that Google is crawling its own site.
- Set up your business listing in Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Merchant Circle, City Search, Angie’s List or any other directory relevant to your industry. These listing show up very well in local search.
- Make sure your website pages are titled and tagged with your local geography. For instance, instead of title-ing your site “Joes Bar and Grill”, you might want to call it, “Joes Bar and Grill Nashville TN Restaurant.” If your current customers are searching for your website online, they know your name and will search for “Joes Bar and Grill” and you will be easy to find. But, what about all the people who don’t know you and are just looking for a “Nashville TN restaurant”, now you will be relevant for that search engine result as well. Make sure your site has copy written for local searches with local geographical keywords. You can mention your location. Reviews from local customers, the fact that you use products grown locally in Nashville TN. So now you’ve got a local identifier in your title, you’ve got local keywords in your copy, so last you want to make sure you use local tags. Add tags/keywords to your posts with phrases grouped in parenthesis and separated by commas like this: “nashville tn restaurant joes bar and grill”, “joes bar and grill on main street nashville tn”. Do some keyword research using Google’s KeyWord tool if you need help with this.
- Ask customers to go online and review your business. 80% of people conducting internet searches say that they read the reviews. Another plus is that businesses with more than 5 reviews tend to rank much better in search engine results than their competition. Put some thought into a review campaign strategy. You could put signs up in your business or hand out pre-printed cards asking for reviews.
Think of local search as today’s replacement for the Yellow Pages. Instead of buying the back cover at $100,000 you can now do a little leg work and have the equivalent in free organic business listings and search results. Good luck. Need help with your internet marketing in Nashville TN? Contact us. We would love to talk to you.
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