Directory Maximizer

A Guide to the Basics of Local SEO

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Whether you’re running a small, local business or heading a global, enterprise-level operation, your prospective customers are looking for your business online. By choosing to ignore local search, you are leaving money on the table, especially as more and more searchers look for local businesses on mobile devices.

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Local SEO can help you put your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in the search engines and bring new customers right to your business. The key to success is to make the right decisions in your online marketing.

1. Be there when customers look for you online

Playing hard to get may be good for dating but it’s bad for business. To attract new customers via local search, start building and improving your local search presence. This includes putting the right information about your business on Search, Maps and Google+ using Google My Business. It connects you directly with customers no matter what device they’re using or what information they are looking for- driving directions to your business, hours of operations or a local phone number.

Additionally, you can also connect with customers and building lasting relationships by bringing your Google+ page to life. To that end, showcase your products or services with beautiful pictures. Post what’s new on your Google+ page. Use Hangouts to produce face-to-face video chat, an easy and engaging way to reach out and connect with your customers the world over. Read more

A 5-Step Process to Outperform Your Competitors in Local Search

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Whether you’re running a small local business or heading an enterprise-level operation, your prospective customers are looking for your business online. To make that connection happen and outrank your competitors, you need to optimize your local search to bring in new website visitors, grow online sales, and keep customers coming back for more.

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1. Have a Solid Online Marketing Strategy to Attract Customers via Local Search

It is absolutely undeniable that Google, Yahoo! and the other search engines have radically changed how we interact, collaborate and shop within our local communities. In fact, statistically, Google alone handles 100 billion searches per month around the world. Of these searches, 7 billion are unique local searches performed on Google per month in the United States.

So if you have a local business or one that targets audiences in a specific geographic location, you cannot under estimate the potential of local search as a form of marketing. Additionally, mobile search is absolutely exploding. According to a 2014 Google study, 4 out of 5 consumers use the search engines to find local information. Of that number, 88% search on their smartphone.

  • 54% search for business hours
  • 53% search for directions to a local store
  • And 50% search for local store addresses

The study also concluded that 18% of local smartphone searches lead to a purchase within a day. Read more

3 Examples of Local Search by Businesses that are Doing it Right

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In 2015, if you want to have a successful local SEO strategy, there are some things you need to know. For example:

1. Your Goals Inform your Campaign

Search engine optimization encompasses technical and creative elements to improve your rankings up the SERPs, drive traffic and increase awareness in the search engines. Therefore, to have a successful campaign, you should have a good idea of what your objectives for SEO are and how it will fit into your marketing mix.

For example, are you interested in traffic or are you interested in conversions you could track. Maybe you want to know how your content pieces are improving your ROI. The truth is: You can have all the traffic in the world but if it is not meeting one of your goals of SEO (conversion or education) then the traffic is not helping any purpose.

2. Tunnel Vision is Not Necessarily Advisable

In a post published on December 3, 2014, Mike Ramsey from Nifty Marketing talked about a click study test he ran through Usability Hub. The first study- “Salt Lake City Hotel” gave the following results of what people clicked on following a Google search for “Salt Lake City Hotel”.

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The takeaway: Users click all over the place and while it is desirable to be number one on the SERPs, you also want to get clicks from your paid ad, local result and barnacle SEO efforts.

3. Don’t Spam

And finally, while Google is getting smarter and better everyday, some spammy tactics still work. Take the example below for instance.

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Don’t do it. Instead, you want to rise above it and do things the right way. If you take shortcuts, sooner or later you will get penalized and it’s not worth the heartache.

3 Examples of Good Local Search

Bricco

If you Google “best Harrisburg restaurants”, you would see that the upscale Mediterranean and Italian restaurant Bricco is the top result.

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Is the food really good there? Sure! Going by the reviews and ratings of the place, Bricco offers a really great dining experience. But that’s not all. It is also listed on trusted and top-ranked sites such as TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon. In SEO, there is a marketing tactic referred to as “Barnacle SEO”.

In essence, just like the way barnacles attach themselves to whales’ skins, in Barnacle SEO, by attaching your name to top-ranked and trusted sites in your industry, you benefit from top rankings in the SERPs as well. This makes it very different for your competition to drown you out SEO-wise.

The takeaway: Do not underestimate the power of good “Barnacle SEO”. Get listed and maintain a good presence on review sites that are trusted in your industry. Read more

Local SEO Tips & Tricks for Multi-Location Pages

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Today’s search engine optimization strategies have mutated drastically, in order to keep up with Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Although national SEO is crucial, local marketing strategies offer a majorly viable source of traffic and potential income. In fact, some businesses will gain more profitability, by catering to a local audience, instead of focusing on the national market.

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Of course, in order to do this, it is imperative to follow the appropriate steps to optimize pages for your local state, city and general region. There are innumerable ways to reap the benefits. These methods will be discussed in-depth below.

Building Specific Pages for Individualized Locations

In order to rank appropriately, within your local market, it is of the utmost importance to target these areas using suitable content. By utilizing location pages and URLs for each specific city and state, you’ll certainly rank better. There are numerous advantages of building distinguished pages for each city, since you can actually optimize each page for the search engine. When you set up a page for your specific city and state, you’ll want to rely on the standard SEO guidelines for optimizing and ranking that page.

  • Use appropriate H1 tags

  • Page titles are crucial

  • Geo-specific keywords in content

  • Use localized URLs

  • Local keywords in IMG tags, when possible

Although it is possible to build content for each individual page quickly, it is advised to do so in a measured manner, in order to ensure that each page is unique. If you have specific operational hours, testimonials or reviews for a particular location, make sure to delegate these to the specific localized page. Once all pages have met a conclusion, ensure that they’re linked together in one form of another. For instance, you can build a main page, which acts as a base and links to the other individualized location pages.

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Local Search Engine Optimization for Businesses

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In the past, only websites that had the resources to gather a lot of links were seen on Page 1. Local search can be viewed as an opportunity that search engines give to small businesses to shine. In 2014, with the right optimizations in the right places, small businesses can reach their customers pretty easily without having to invest the big bucks into SEO.

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See, 80% of people want their search requests to be made according to their specific location, according to some research conducted by some of Google’s friends.

Consumers don’t really care about how popular a website is worldwide anymore. They want to know where they can eat, or which service professional can help them in the next few minutes. And to satisfy these consumers (who are also the people who make the search engines money), the SEs had to make their results more relevant…more local.

So if you have a business and want the local people to find you more easily, this article will show you just that!

It all Starts With your Website

Most SEO experts would agree that SEO work should begin within the website first. This applies to local SEO as well.

The biggest tip we can give you for local SEO? Build and optimize a landing page for each and every location you service. This applies whether you own 1 local shop or a chain of them.

Every page should have proper title and meta tags. Then of course the business name, address and phone number. Keep those consistent wherever you are posting them (don’t use 23 Reagent Street, Cashmere on your website and 23 Reagent St., CSH on a local business listing site – use the same address and phone number format everywhere). A Google Maps of your location is a good idea, too.

One of the biggest challenges is writing unique content for each page providing the same service. The solution: Since you are writing a page for each area, why not write something about the area? Write about the landmarks, memorable events, parks, etc. as part of the content.

Last but not least, optimize the URL. Like this: https://www.myservice.com/410033-Cashmere

Last tip for this section: Use pictures that people will resonate with. A picture of your store with some known buildings on its side will help reduce the bounce rate. And if you can make a video showing the surroundings, even better!

Make Ads ‘Localized’

If you are using paid ads to drive traffic to your website, make sure to optimize them as well for the area (zip code, city or even street name). Make it easy for them to reach you.

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60% of the people prefer using the ‘Call’ or ‘Get directions’ buttons directly from the ad rather than clicking through to the website itself, according to this data.

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A Handy Guide to Local SEO by Directory Maximizer

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As a local business user, your SEO budget is one of the most important things you manage each month. A website’s listing on search engines provides peace of mind to thousands of business owners around the world by enabling them to get in touch directly with local customers, where word of mouth or physical advertising wasn’t cutting it.

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But local business owners tend not to overlap with technology experts or software engineers, but we do think that traditional businesses need to go through the learning curve of setting up a local SEO campaign. Here are some vital tips that will help with your local search rankings and enable you to get quick access to hungry customers.

1. Optimized Local Place Pages are Key

The first and most important step to take to ensure high rankings in local search pages is to build “Place Pages” for all the search engines you’re targeting. (Here are the links to Bing, Yahoo! and Google Places)

This ensures that the search engines understand you run a local business, which will then allow them to incorporate your listing into their search results.

However, it is vital for you to optimize your places page with accurate and targeted information, to make sure you are placed above your customers.

  • Categorize your business into the relevant category – uncategorized businesses are NOT listed in search results!
  • Ensure all of your information is accurately specified – you have the same NAP (Name, Address, Phone) everywhere, in all the listings, for consistency’s sake
  • Make sure you upload plenty of high quality photos
  • Detail your hours of operation
  • Specify the services you offer

2. Reviews Matter. A Lot.

Reputations make or break businesses. A highly rated business will get more clicks than a 1-star or 2-star listing – which is very important as far as SEO goes – a competitor who is getting more clicks will rise higher in the rankings. Moreover, it is becoming more and more apparent that Google is looking at ratings as a factor for rankings. Make sure you invite all users to your website to leave a review! Be proactive about responding to reviews – your involvement in the websites reputation is a very positive sign.

Don’t post false reviews! This is the easiest way to get penalized – let the reviews flow in naturally and honestly.

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