What is the best course for optimizing my business for local searches?
With the explosion of smartphone and tablet searches, search engines are turning more and more towards third party local listings for local searches (Google+, Yelp, Yahoo Local, etc.) I am curious as to what internet marketers are doing to optimize their local business listings and become more relevant in the local search enviornment
I agree with what Jason Keeler said, but I would like to point out that being in the city "epicenter" isn't necessarily important.
Google+ local centroid can actually change relative to a cluster of related businesses - - i.e. if there's one part of your city that has a high density of car dealerships, for example, it is likely that your (hypothetical) car dealership will rate better in local search engine results the closer your business is geographically to that cluster of dealerships. This was pointed out by local seo expert Mike Blumenthal about a year ago.
To expand on a few of these answers, if you're going to blog or create content as the first step in your digital funnel, it needs to fit a few parameters. Most importantly, it needs to have a few keywords related to your area. Then, even though no one will probably find your post via G+ you should promote it there. Google in its narcissism will push G+ posts hire in the organic results thereby increasing the visibility of your post simply by reposting the link.
Jason Keeler really nailed it, and then Dave Worrall really drove it in deeper. Not much to add there, except maybe do a search on your local SEO (including citations) through moz.com/local/search.
I had just reviewed your question and happy to gave you honest answer regarding local business promotion. there are many way to promote locally, You can do some Local classified, local business listing, local search engine submission and many other stuff. which can help you to get local business. there is Local organic SEO method also very helpful to get top rank locally. if you looking for pro local seo method will helpl you for sure.
Lots of very useful and spot on suggestions here from a wide range of obviously knowledgeable folks. My advice would actually be to start first by building your online reputation and then marketing that reputation to establish yourself as a market leader in your local area. I call it Reputation Marketing (not reputation management).
You can spend lots of time, effort and resources trying to optimize your local listings so you can become more visible and 'relevant' or try to get ranked in the SERPs.
But all those efforts, including advertising and promotional budgets, can turn to naught if 87% of your traffic does what most referred traffic does these days and hits the review sites to see what your recent customers are saying about your business practices and how you treat your customers.
So don't ignore all the other sound advice offered up here from this great group. But whatever else you do, set a firm foundation under your business by building a 5-Star reputation either before (my preference) or concurrently with all your other efforts.
On Page: Title tags with LOCAL phone # and city; appropriate % of relevant keywords; absence of broken links; no redirects; XML sitemap.
Off Page: Consistency of Name, Address, Phone (NAP) across all citation sources; local and/or relevant business group structured citations and links; proper category classification; online reviews (especially on Google+).
Consolidating what has been said:
Make sure correct business address (must be unique) and phone number (must be unique) and name is on a minimum the home page of the website. Should ideally have it on all pages.
Make sure the above info is distributed across the biz directories. We personally put it into 120+ directories. OPTIMIZE them with photos (geo-tagged) & video if allowed. Make sure to include hours keywords, etc on ALL listings.
Make sure that webpages have around 300 words. Less than that and Google thinks it doesn't educate the searcher enough. Also you should a webpage for each service, product line that the local biz wants to be found for.
Make sure that title tags are unique on each webpage of the website. Make sure the meta description is tightly woven to the title tag of that web page. Make sure that both are tightly woven to the webpage's content. DO NOT go over allowed lengths for either one.
Videos are a must. Make video title geo target with keyword(s). Put video on website too.
Mobile friendly is important. Be careful of responsive sites though. Most do not have 2 CRUCIAL elements for a good mobile website -- a phone and map button! Without that your mobile site is half-a**ed.
H1 and H2 tags definitely need to exist and consist of a frequent local keyword search phrase.
Blogging is a good idea. It certainly isn't necessary to do for many local businesses. Only 3 or 4 of my clients blog. The rest don't and they are on the 1st page. So it is worth the money for them to pay someone to blog? That's debatable. But if they are writing it themselves then go for it. This though, is where title tags, h1, h2 tags, keyword phrases, etc, need to be optimized. Otherwise the blogging loses it's SEO effectiveness.
I'm glad you are looking into this because I find web designers (I help 7 of them with their clients) don't know how to optimize websites for local SEO. And then clients get disappointed down the road when their new site still isn't getting found!
At Lakeview Digital we have been highly successful at ranking short informative videos for local key terms for ourselves and our clients. GOOGLE "Virginia Seo expert". It gives clients a brief intro to your business with visual and audio all in their first click excellent conversion!
A good SEO strategy will cover onsite strategies for the website and offsite strategies for business listings, etc. There are also other methods like Reputation Management that are worth considering for cleaning up listings on multiple reference sites outside of Google.
I don't serve St. Louis, but have connections who do. If you want a referral, let me know.
I can run a preliminary report for you to see where you are ranking in your industry and help you find the best key phrases to use in your business.
What else I can do:
- Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Link Development
- Google Local/Places Optimization and Maintenance
- Search Engine Reputation Management
- Technical SEO Site Evaluations
- Optimize Press and Optimized Content Development
- Content Marketing
- Blog Marketing
- Optimized Blog/Website Content Creation
Look forward to hearing from you!
The answers below / above are all good answers and should be completed. To add a bit more work to the aforementioned lol consider creating a blog for your business. If your website has a blog, use it and write helpful posts about your business category in general and once in a while write about your business directly. If you don't have a blog on your website you can create one using www.tumblr.com it's a great way to add links pointing to your site as well as engaging your audience. The other important aspect which I don't think I saw was be sure to have active Social media business pages! These always show up in search results local and abroad. I hope that helps.
In addition to optimizing your Google / Bing Places listing as well as applying for local listing sites such as Yelp or Yellow pages don't forget Google Adwords!
With Google Adwords you can specify your listing to only show up in local searches. At a minimum it is highly recommended to bid on at least your brand name since you will have a high quality score, low cost, and low competition. As with any Google Adwords landing page it is also recommended you come up with a specialized landing page directing users to complete your Call To Action WITHOUT any distracting links.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about Google Adwords!
There are 3 great ways to do this to be found in local business searches:
1) Claim and optimize local business listings. Google has already been mentioned, but don't forget Yahoo and Bing. Claiming them properly and accurately is essential and adding other important citations, such as Yelp, YP, etc. as needed to get high search rankings.
2) Depending on how competitive your market, completing on-site SEO for your website will often be enough to get your website on page one locally.
3) The fastest way to get high ranking in local searches is with Video SEO. Putting a video on YouTube and then optimizing your video and channel with good keywords will often do it. For more competitive markets you may need to do more advanced optimization.
Anyone of these can work well... using all three... even better.
Keeping in mind that the majority of local business searches are done on mobile devices... so being mobile friendly is one of the most important things a business can do. Also keep in mind that responsive design will make your site viewable, but it will not make you mobile friendly.
Hi Adam, if you send me a link to your site I will take a look at your tagging, such as description tag etc I will also take look at some of your H1 tags/headers, I will help you optimize for your local area..
Well, let me give you are straight answer over this so you may not wonder round and round. In order to get the yourself over the local searches make sure you are available on all the local listing site i.e. Google maps, Yelp, Yahoo, get yourself over the various yellow pages, try to get as much positive reviews as you can over..... that's just it. Other than I would say @Jason Keeler has given the most appropriate answer.
In addition to given answer, make sure your website is mobile or tablet friendly (responsive) otherwise your visitors bounce rate will increase.
Also try to find best local directories like yelp, yellopages, merchantcircle and publish your listing over there. Ask your customers to share their reviews at Google places and local listing profile. It will boost your rank in Google local search.
Jason is spot-on, the only thing I'd add is that in order to gain locality authority, you should have your address and contact details consistently across all pages, the best way of doing this is to place it in your footer.
Three key things to do. First, make sure your Google Places page is COMPLETELY optimized. Second, make sure that all of your listings and citations (even second and third tier IYP's) are claimed and the NAP is consistent. Third, actively seek and manage your reviews, especially on G+, Yelp! and CitySearch.
Other factors include your domain authority, how many links (and the quality/diversity) are pointed to your G places page, the velocity and quality of your reviews, how close you are to the actual city epicenter (and how close you are to the searcher when they are conducting a search), etc.
Here's a good reference for you: http://www.searchsolutionsllc.com/5-key-local-seo-ranking-factors/