Local SEO: What is local SEO and Why do you need it
Search engine optimization (Local SEO) is absolutely critical for any kind of business. In a business where that depends on local customers and clients, local search engine optimization can be even more important. If people in your area can’t find your business or website, your job is that much better. Luckily, the internet makes it easy for your business to be visible to locals.
If you’re working out of your home,using local SEO can be detrimental to business at best and downright dangerous at worst. But if you’re making use of an executive suite or shared office,publicizing your location can help raise your visibility,attract business and give you credibility.
Here are a couple of ways to make sure your business is visible to local web traffic (local SEO).
Log on to the various websites devoted to tracking the locations and profiles of business and verify the profile of your business. Often,these sites will have functions that allow users to recommend businesses to their friends and leave ratings,reviews,and other comments. Websites like Google Places,Bing Local, and Yahoo Local are good sites to start with. To verify,you may have to make a phone call or send a postcard to validate your address.
Most sites that provide directories to local business include pictures with their profiles. the web is extremely visual,and it’s possible that potential clients will pass right over you if you don’t include a picture or if the service provides its own (sub-par) pictures. To make sure your online presence is as beneficial to you as possible , upload your own pictures . you don’t have to hire a professional or anything, but keep in mind that these photographs will be representing you and your business, so make sure they’re clear and attractive.
Submit information about your business to services like Localeze and info USA, which help you validate information about your business and track your business’s information across the internet. If you find incorrect information on one of these sites or other local listing ,make sure to let the site know: incorrect information like this is often a self-perpetuating cycle,as sites use information from elsewhere on the web to complete their profiles. If your info is incorrect on one site,this may lead to widespread mistakes, so nip this problem in the bud.
On local listing sites, always ask customers to leave reviews. Even if they’re negative,they help possible customers see that your business is legitimate. If they’re positive,there’s some free advertising!
A moderate amount of bad reviews can actually be good for business. When you see a listing with all good reviews,it tends to look somewhat suspicious: the company can’t possibly be perfect, so it seems like someone’s faking it. Obviously,too many bad reviews are detrimental,but don’t worry about getting a few. Everyone does.
Add your local (not 800) phone number to every site and directory you can. Not only does it make it easier for someone to contact you,it also helps to indicate your location. Also,make sure that on every page,your phone number is the same.
Make sure your mailing address is always attache to business listing and always consistent. This is how people can find you.
To make sure business is as visible as possible,create a business page on social networking sites: create a Facebook business page,a Twitter account, a blog, any kind of current,up-to-date record of your business that makes it easy to connect with other people. And once you create those accounts,make sure you update them regularly. Social networking sites can’t do their job if you don’t respond to messages and keep followers current on what’s going on in your business.
Recognize that some of the most important web information about you is based on things that happen offline. The way you treat clients, both over the internet and in person, says a lot about your business. If you treat customers poorly,you can expect plenty of bad reviews and comments. If,on the other hand,you go above and beyond to treat your clients well and perform your services to the best of your ability, your online persona will show that, as well. The best way to control what the internet says about your business is to make sure your do everything you can to treat people right.
Local web listing are a wonderful thing. Broad internet visibility is great, but you aren’t going to get any business unless people in the area can find you and see good things about you. Invest just a little time local SEO and your business will thank you.
Do you need Local SEO? See our SEO & Local Listings Services.