When we look a “local business” marketing, we are generally looking at a radius of less than 10 miles from the location. In most cases that radius is actually 3 miles or less.
Optimizing for local search involves the following:
- Location-Based Keywords
- Review Websites
- Online Directories
- Search Engine Profiles
Location based keywords
The idea here is to identify the top keywords your audience is using to research or find your service. By adding location-based variables to this list, you will now have a list of more specific keywords that you can use to optimize your site and to include in your Blog posts. Avoid keyword stuffing by throwing a bunch of cities on a page. If it is readable by your 6th grade English teacher, you have done it properly.
There are a number of review website that you can find by doing a search on these. Of course the top reviews would be sites like Google+, Yahoo & Bing. Also sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle, the BBB, Angie’s List, Kudzu, various Yellow Pages etc. Follow their guidelines and add complete profiles for your business. When you deliver a service to a customer ask them to submit a review. Some companies encourage their customers to submit a review by entering them into a drawing for a free gift.
Directories that list local businesses can provide a boost for businesses because these sites have lots of listings and links, which produce favorable rankings in the search engines. In Georgia, we have GeorgiaLocalSearch and Kudzu. There are even hyper-local directories for communities that locals often favor. Manta has been around for a while. Long standing global directories include Yahoo and DMoz.
Search Engine Profiles
Make sure that your profile in Google, Yahoo & Bing is current and thorough. The formats for these change frequently, so check quarterly at a minimum.
Investing a little time in SEO for Local Business should yield a return on investment by driving traffic to your website, which, hopefully, you can convert into new business.