Local SEO, or search engine optimization, is definitely the right path that every local business should take to reach their local market. Every local business' website must be designed for local SEO to get noticed by local search engines. Global searches are very much dissimilar to local searches, as search engine algorithms for both kinds of searches are also different. There must be a specific in optimizing a local website in order to fit what major search engines are looking for in a local search category. In local SEO, there is a smaller kind of audience targeted and the geography of the market is also very much considered if you want to rank high in local search engines like local Google, Yahoo local, and Bing.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, it is very important to reach out to local customers. It is useless to reach global customers that can not even visit your business office or store to avail of your products and services. Another reason why local SEO is vital for brick-and-mortar businesses is that there is no way business owners can reach the local market if the information and content of their websites are not locally located. Let's see how you could start right in designing your own website for local SEO.
First, there must be an active optimization of your website and if you do not have the know-how, hire a local SEO expert to do it for you. Be sure that the local information is included either in the domain, the page title, the body of the content, or wherever possible. If you hire someone, make sure that you talk about your ideas so both of you would have a good understanding on what to expect with your goal to reach local clients. There are a lot of situations where this stage has been overlooked again and again. Business owners who commit this mistake often wonder why they are getting zero sales leads from their local SEO campaign.
Second, it is advisable that your target keyword is included in your business name. Some people insist creative names to look cool, but by putting a keyword in your business name, this would give you a quick ranking jumpstart and would ever bring massive traffic to your site. For example, if you are a dentist in Parramatta, put the word "dentist" in your domain name or in your website's title, plus your geography keyword "Parramatta". Indeed, this is so simple and many find it awkward, but this is a very powerful local SEO strategy.
Another local SEO strategy is that your physical visibility information must be in your Web Pages or in the contact page of your site. Put your office or business address, phone number, and area code. Doing this creates trust in your visitors and they would be more likely to become repeat clients in the future. This information must have a link, either in your header or in your footer, to make sure these contact details are always visible. You can also include some landmarks information in your contact pages to make sure that your physical address is easy to find. In addition, register in Google local maps and put your business on the virtual map. Ask your local SEO expert on how to do this.
Do not forget to balance quality over popularity. Local SEO is not just about attracting people to your site but pulling the right people who are serious about your business. Think of the keywords a possible client would type if they want to buy a product or get a service. Put yourself in your customer's shoes as to better understand them.
Speaking of understanding, know your competition and the profiles of your prospective clients. Some useful details you can find out are: What's the average age and status of the competitor's clients? What's the salary level of most visitors? What's the common gender of people who visit the sites? Another thing is you should learn how your competitors design their website. If most of them use color white for their website, then it may be good to use color white and put some color twist, like a red or a yellow, to make sure that your site is more attractive and interesting to visitors.
Local SEO is very much different from Global SEO because you need to do a laser-like targeted strategy and not just a shot in the dark. Take action now to reach your local community and increase your sales astronomically.