Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO
Search engine results are becoming more personalized based on things like search history and location. More and more people are searching on a mobile device while on the go. Many of these mobile searches are for something local. Instead of planning ahead before they leave the house, people are simply searching for local businesses as they go. This means that it’s important to have a local search presence in order to be found.
Follow these tips in order to improve your SERP (search engine results page) presence and generate traffic to your website:
Optimize for local keywords
The first step of any SEO campaign (local or national) is to conduct keyword research. It’s important to understand how people are searching. Selecting the wrong keywords and keyword phrases can result in lost business opportunities. Keyword research should be conducted on a national basis first to understand user intent and then they should be localized. People typically search for take out dinner options the same way no matter where they are located. Once keywords have been chosen they should be localized by including the city and state. In a large city, like New York City, it may even make sense to niche it down further by targeting specific neighborhood. For example, pizza place and pizza delivery become New York City pizza place, New York City NY pizza place, New York City pizza delivery and New York City NY pizza delivery. An example of niching it down further would be to use Midtown pizza place and Midtown pizza delivery.
Add contact info to every page
Every business website should include contact information because that helps improve the trust of a website. It’s especially important for a local business if it is a place that people are going to physically visit (as opposed to purchasing something off of the site directly). Include a physical address, mailing address (if it’s different), and phone number on every page, not just the homepage. It’s also a good idea to include the names of the towns, neighborhoods, and cities that you serve. The phone number should always be separated by dashes (ex. 555-0000) not dots (ex 555.0000) so that people can click on it and call from their mobile device.
Submit info to local directories
When you do a search for something local in Google, the first thing to pop up is the Google+ Local business listings. Once your site is up and running and properly optimized the first priority should be to activate local business listings in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! Basic listings are free, however an “Enhanced Listing” that may include photos, company logos, and a detailed business description typically cost a fee. It’s also a good idea to submit information to other local directory type sites like Yellow Pages, Super Pages, and Local.com. People may no longer be browsing the Yellow Pages but this can help from a branded search perspective. All of these profiles (with information and a phone number) will appear when someone searches directly for your business.