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  • SEO
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It's becoming increasingly rare for someone not to find what they are looking for on the internet, and for many goods and services, there are many people who would rather walk into an actual store and purchase what they are looking for. It's hard to believe, I know but if you pay attention to how companies have responded, look no further than Amazon.com establishing physical locations across the US (and building more stores as I type).

Search engines are how the majority of people find you if you own a local biz. The majority of searches also take place over mobile networks, which is also an important factor to consider.

-80% of consumers use search engines to find local information...the only real exception to this is some of the elderly and Amish population.

-Half of those that searched for a local business on their smartphone visited the store within 24 hours (34% of those who searched on a computer/tablet did the same)

-30% of people would prefer to buy in-store instead of online if they knew a local store was nearby

The fact that most people who search online would rather buy the good or service online is not surprising for a couple of reasons. Buying online is usually a better experience and almost always more convenient than going to a physical store. A lot of times though people can't wait for an item to be shipped or need to actually put on clothes, leave the house and go into a store. If they can not find you easily via a search they most likely are not going to find you at all. Below are some strategies I've found useful to boost your local search rankings:



1. Make sure you are categorized as a local business so people can find you. You should generally start with an audit to find out how the business presents for local keywords on search. Keep in mind for an online business, that happens to work in an area doesn't necessarily qualify as a local business. However, if you have a storefront or service a particular to your local area, you are classified as a local business.

You also need to have list a physical address and a local phone number. Listing an 800 # and a PO box will not help you in this situation.

2. Make sure to be consistent across all platforms:
Every place you promote your business should have the same information. If information from different sources are not the same, it will throw off your search results. You'll want to always share your contact info (name, address and phone number) with the same exact information and the same style. Any online space you have a presence on websites, social profiles, directories and maps all should have the same information. You should also claim the listings for all major directories (start with Google My Business/Bing Places for business, Yahoo! Local Listing, Yelp) and make sure contact info on each is correct and up to date.


3. Include keywords on social media: Keywords are often the most confusing thing about SEO even for seasoned SEO strategists. While being listed in many places makes sense from a numbers perspective, keywords are a bit more qualitative than quantitative.

A good rule of thumb about which keywords to choose (and use frequently across social sites and content, which we will get to next) are simply detailed descriptors of your business.

As an example, using a law firm that describes themselves as "law" or "legal services." These keywords are too broad and apply to every single law firm in the U.S., so we want to dig deeper. "Chicago law firm" or "Chicago legal services" would be better keywords for SEO because they define the local area the business is in, as well as descriptors. The law firm could go deeper still, by using a long-tail keyword (sentences), such as "Lincoln Park Divorce Lawyers, Inc."

Taking these descriptive keywords and including them in your social posts will help you to be found on social and add strength to your businesses search. Twitter is, once again, being indexed by Google in real-time helping your tweets spread further and quicker across the web.

4. Invest in content:
1-3 will help you establish your SEO, but they can only take you so far. Using keywords on social media will boost your ranking on social media sites, but if you aren't regularly posting content, you're basically doing everything wrong.

Remember content is king, it brings in an audience in a way advertisements and traditional marketing methods can't, while also strengthening your business image online. By regularly writing on a blog (or posting deals/news) about your business online, and incorporating keywords, you will reinforce the stronghold and dominate in your local market.

What other strategies do you have to improve SEO for a local biz?
#local #seo #strategies
  • Profile picture of the author Lannisterdoor
    Great post! It has all the keys for a good local SEO strategy, I would only add the user reviews, getting good user reviews at Google, Facebook and Yelp can be a powerful boost in search optimization, I always recommend my clients that they should ask their customers to make reviews after buying a product, its a very simple but effective way to improve the rank.
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  • Profile picture of the author NateOlsen
    I agree with Lannisterdoor social media is a great tool to help increase local rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author davejarvys
    Not really sure content is king really applies to a lot of local searches.

    I don't want to read an article about taps I just want my leak stopped

    I'm not interested in Sun Valley crop rotation I want a pizza

    I'm not interested in relationship law throughout the middles ages I just want that b*tch gone.

    etc etc

    For local I'd say have a mobile optimised site and make sure you can call from the website.
    Have social proof in your Google listing
    Claim your Google my business and Google mymaps
    Take advantage of parasites to dominate the first page.
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  • Profile picture of the author xjokker
    A lot of people concentrate on only the bigger city from ones local area, also spend some time using keywords from other areas around your business. You will find a lot of time there is almost zero competition for surrounding areas.
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