There is no cookie-cutter mold for SEO. Search engine marketing strategies are as diverse as the businesses that employ them. This is why small and medium-size businesses around the world are focusing on local search as their primary SEO focus.
After all, local businesses are generally only interested in one thing – local business.
Knowing this, businesses often ask: “What strategies should we focus on to unlock highly relevant local traffic to our website?” To get you started, here’s three simple areas to cover.
#1 – Boost Your Search with Google Local
It’s no secret – Google’s attempt to dominate the social media world with Google+ has been a rocky endeavor at best. Now that we know Google+ isn’t going to take over Facebook any time soon, what is it all for?
Fortunately for Google, they are good at adapting. It seems their tactic is to merge their various Google+ products into mapping out a hierarchy of small, medium, and large-size businesses around the world. And they’re starting with Google Local.
Google Local connects your business to Google Maps. This is a good thing for local businesses, as Google is increasingly serving Google Maps in SERPs. In 2010, Google reported the proportion of SERPs that show a map is 1 in 13.
By claiming ownership of your company’s Google Local page, you will increase your chances of showing up in the “Map” and “Places” component of local search results.
#2 – Keep Your Contact Info Consistent
Google’s whole model is predicated on accurate and organized data. When users search for local services, Google needs to trust that the websites they serve correspond to real brick and mortar addresses that the user will find useful.
This is why it is so important to keep your business’s contact information consistent across web properties. For instance, if your website says one thing, but your social media profiles, blog, and yelp page says another, Google gets confused. And the plain truth of internet marketing is that confusion usually leads to obscurity.
#3 – Ask for Reviews
Users have become highly research oriented. In this reality, Google is making research easier for users. The result is that reviews are becoming a more prominent piece of customer information online.
This is both a challenge and an opportunity. Although gathering reviews can seem daunting, online users are getting more used to providing them, and are generally less resistant to making an official statement online. The benefit is that positive reviews are an enormous persuader in the buying process. In many cases, the more positive reviews you log online, the easier it is to obtain new business. This only builds steam with time.