Local SEO 101

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Entrepreneur Realty Franchise


Local SEO 101

Business owners know by now that search engine optimization matters. According to industry research, search and email are the top web-based activities worldwide, and about 70% of the links users actually click from search results are organic, not paid (though PPC campaign management services may still be well worth it—about 72% of PPC marketers plan to increase PPC spending next year). But if you’re a brick-and-mortar business or serve a clientele in only a specific area, there’s an additional concern: local SEO.

What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of trying to make your company’s website rank higher in local search results. This might be important when users specifically search for an area, as with a term like “SEO company Phoenix AZ.” But search engines are still developing how they handle local searches, so searching only “SEO company” might give mixed local and general results. However, it’s likely that local searches will become more prevalent, as search engines recognize that a user typing in “top SEO company” is probably trying to find a company in the area to work with, and not just the top SEO company in general. 

How Do I Optimize My Website for Local Searches?
Local Internet marketing varies from general Internet marketing in a few important ways. Here are a few general tips:

  • Create place pages. Google, Bing and Yahoo all allow you to submit your information directly.
  • Make sure you have your NAP (name, address, phone) information listed on every page of your website.
  • Use location-specific keywords. Don’t, however, use them so often that it makes your copy unwieldy and unpleasant to actually read.
  • Upload attractive photos to your Google+ page. This matters for the photo-focused “carousel” of results that appears in Google’s local search results.

Working with a good SEO company can help you develop more specific strategies based on the type of business you run and where you’re located.

What Other Sites Matter?
Ranking higher in search results isn’t just about your website, it’s about something called authority. This is determined by how many inbound links you have—that is, how many links on other websites lead to your website. This is one reason that it’s good to guest post on other sites. Also encourage your customers to leave reviews for you on Yelp or Google. 

What else have you done to optimize your local results? Share your experiences in the comments.

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