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!