Local search SEO is a different beast from national and international search, but the themes are still the same. All you have to do is take the knowledge you have from regular SEO and apply to localizing it. It might sound like a complicated process, but when you break it down, it’s not.
Local search SEO isn’t just about placing the right keywords in all the right places. It’s about networking with other businesses in your area, getting restaurants, doctor’s offices, car dealerships and more to make friends with you and link to your website. Chances are, some of these websites already have more “Google cred” than you do, so it’s beneficial to link up with them where search engine friendliness is concerned.
Local Search SEO: Linking with Your Own Sites
When you make local SEO apply to your social media – as in your Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Foursquare and more – you’re giving Google some helpful local search SEO. This goes from putting location into in actual status updates to placing your address and a list of surrounding areas into your “about” or “bio” boxes. The more you tell Google where you’re located, the better off your sites will be if you want to drive local traffic.
Let’s say you run an art gallery and someone is visiting your area for the day. They’re an avid art fan, and they want to spend some free time at a gallery. So what do they do? They go to Google on their mobile devices and type “Art gallery.” You want to come up first, second or third in the search results in order to capture that traffic.
Local SEO will be more effective if you link your website to your social media pages and also to well-established web pages that have a strong Google reputation already. These are harder to procure at times, but certainly aren’t impossible.
Local Search SEO in Practice
Now, just because you’ve done due diligence trying to tag local search SEO keywords in your pages and websites doesn’t mean Google will give you preference in the search results. There are many times when, due to better reviews, a better website or longer standing, Google will simply blow you off and feature your competitor. While irritating, there are things you can do to improve your local search SEO.
First, incentive your customers in writing reviews that will benefit your website. For example, if you’re lacking Google Places reviews – or have some nasty ones sitting there already – you can offer coupons or free stuff to customers in exchange for them writing a better review and giving your business five stars. Make sense?
Sometimes you can’t control everything, and that’s where customers come into play, especially where local search SEO is involved. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you have great META data on your website that Google will give you preferred treatment. They won’t. They base their algorithms on a lot more than data these days, and local search SEO is a product of that.