Small Business Marketing: Local SEO Best Practices

As a business owner, it is important that you take appropriate measures to make sure your business can be found, both by search engines and also by your potential customers in your location. If you have a brick-and-mortar business there is a lot you can do to optimize your local listing.

Here are some tips:

Optimize your Local Listing

Every local business that has a physical location should be doing all they can to optimize their local listing. This can be done in a number of ways. Google Plus Local, formerly known as Google Places, should be the start of your business optimization. You can ‘claim’ your listing and protect it from hijacking. To get a Google Plus Local listing, you need to sign up for a Google account. From there, they will send you a PIN so you can prove your business location.

Make sure your local listing is complete and informative. Attach your business website, seek out reviews, and use the correct keywords in the description so that you attract people that are looking for what you offer.

In addition to your local listing through Google, you should also consider Bing, Yahoo, City Search, Yelp, Yellow Pages and Urban Spoon if you’re a restaurant. There are literally hundreds of other directories that your business should be listed on.

How to Target Keywords

Targeting keywords is a huge part of internet marketing. You can have a website with a ton of content, but if none of your content is geared toward particular keywords, then no one will be able to find your website among the sea of online information.

Using various keyword analysis tools such as the Google Adwords tool, which is free, or tools from companies such as SEOmoz can show you how to choose keywords that will give you a high return. You can do a lot of things with these keywords. You can create a whole webpage on your site about each keyword, or you can start a blog and write articles with the different keywords inside.

Factors in Ranking Local Search

Most people do not go past the first page of results when conducting an online search. Therefore, you want your company’s website to be as close to the top of the search results as possible.

There are a lot of factors that go into ranking local search. Google and other search engines use an algorithm to determine who shows up at the top of any given search. They do not give anyone the exact components of this algorithm, but they do give hints.

Your website itself needs to be optimized so that when search engines scan your pages, it is clear to them what your website is about. For example, if you have a moving company, but you do not disclose anywhere that your company does moving, then it will be hard for anyone to find you. On top of the content within your site, the back-end of your site needs to be optimized as well. You can always employ an SEO expert to help you with these tasks.

Local SEO best practices are a big part of getting customers through the Internet. Employing these techniques and doing them the right way gives your company a chance to be found online.

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