Local search optimization is for the user who wants more personal results that get them exactly right way where they live. Local search is conducted online which is equivalent to anything you would manually look for in the printed yellow pages. Some facts need to consider before optimizing your business website for local search:
- According to the study, SEOMoz showed that 79% of searchers are looking for local information.
- 69% of searches are affected by geo-targeted location.
- 20% of searches provide localize results, specifically on Google.
Further, this article will take you through several points that guide to get started with Geographic targeting which often helps with Local SEO.
After identifying the markets you serve, use top 3 geographic terms with focus keywords on webpage where it sounds more logical.
Over-stuffing pages with geographic keywords in content and Meta-tags throughout the website may result in over- optimization penalty.
Submit your business to local directories separately to get listed in local search, which can be customized using photos, videos, list of products and services, hours of operation etc.
List of business directories that help website get noticed by the people to improve business online presence:
- Google+ Business Page
- Bing Places for Business
- Yahoo! Local
- Yelp for Business Owners
Consistency should be maintained with your NAP (Name, Address & Phone-number) information because more exact citations of your business results in more prominent local profile.
Business should be listed with accurate categories they fit in. According to guidelines, first category must be broad enough and second category should be more specific.
Adding Schema.org to your web pages is the way of telling all search engines to unequivocally recognize the site’s content. There are schemas for a variety of categories like movies, images, books,songs, videos, events and many more which helps increase your SERPs visibility and presence.
The domain of the website should be relevant and compelling on Local pages to be competitive and stand out on more searches compared to other competing domains.
Here are some points, according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, that should be avoided when targeting local markets:
- Search engines may ignore or consider it as spam when you list all serving cities on every web page in the footer.
- It often results in duplicate content penalty when trying to create exact same content pages with just a different name of town.
- Putting geographic keywords in hidden text on your web page will cause the site to be removed from search results. This is possible when positioning text off-screen, using the same color with text and background or locating text behind an image.
On-site optimization for your website helps search engine know what all locations you are targeting by including Geo-specific description, phrases and keywords in Title and Meta-description tags.
After optimizing your local business listing, local linking options should be considered which are as follows:
- Find out the backlinks of your local competitor’s websites and check out whether you can get your site listed.
- Find locally focused blog articles related to your niche whose audiences are more interested in your business.
- Look out for some events related to your industry such as conferences or exhibitions and check if event’s website link back to the sponsors.
At last but certainly not the least, make sure to create Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare pages for local marketing and optimize it to reach out local audience.
Sharing customer testimonials on the website helps focus on local keywords.
One matter to hold in judgment when doing local search optimization is that it takes nearly some months, if not a year, before it actually pops up with amazing results; though it is possible you start
increasing your visibility on search results. Local Search Optimization is generally beneficial to small businesses as it helps them stand out without having to spend much amount for marketing. Read about Polish up your Knowledge with SEO Fundamental here.