Everyone wants to grow their business via online promotion but today locally promoting a website is more challenging.
So, In this guide, we hope to share with you some of the techniques that could help you, one of the good guys, thrive, get more customers and become Local SEO consultant.
Becoming a Local SEO Expert Starts With Google My Business Locations
Google My Business Locations is the very first step to establishing a presence in a new market. All you need is a valid gmail account in order to create up to 10 different locations that span across mobile, maps, and, Google’s desktop search results. The best part of all…it’s free. Google even provides an easy to use Excel template that lays out what information is needed to confirm the locations and get them indexed. I’ve provided an example of that below.
Top Level Domains Vs. Subdomains:
One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make when expanding your reach to new territories and countries is whether to create a top level domain or a subdomain for each location. If you’re not quite sure what that means, HalfElf.org, a WordPress Guru site does an excellent job of explaining the differences between the two. As Matt Cutt’s describes in the video in the video below.
Optimize Your Website For Each Location:
Once you’ve set up a web presence for each region you’ll want to optimize schema for your various locations. Make sure to include a local number, local address, and business hours to increase your chance of being shown in Google’s SERPs. These should be unique for each location and need to be linked to either your top level domain or subdomain for that area. You can find more information on localized schema at schema.org.
Google Isn’t Everything
Although Google takes up 68.5% of desktop and 92.7% of mobile market share, they aren’t the only ones that can make an impact on your bottom line. In fact, using other business listings, review sites, and citation sources can actually improve your results within Google, doubling their effectiveness. Here are few resources to consider when expanding your presence.
Yahoo Local Marketing: Yahoo offers a paid service that lists your business on over 50 websites within their network. They offer “Local Enhanced Listing” priced at $9.99 a month and “Yahoo Local works” priced at $29.99 month. This can be an excellent way to create high quality backlinks, among other benefits.
Bing Place for Businesses: Bing makes it easy to set up a local listing with their free service. The only requirement is to have a valid Microsoft account which is also available for free if you don’t already have one. Utilizing Bing’s local listings seems to be ignored by many companies, and can give you an advantage over your competitors who don’t know that value of this resource.
Yelp: Yelp has become the premier review website not only for their ability to show up high within Google’s results, but also as a trusted source for consumers. Establishing your location in Yelp and actively managing the reviews there can pay huge dividends to your business.
Data Providers: There are several different data resources that are used by search engines in the United States. These include Factual, Infogroup, Acxiom, Neustar, and a few others like yellowpages and superpages. These have a large impact on search results and feed directly into search engines, review sites, and more. Ensuring your business is listed on these and that the information is correct is extremely important for companies that want to be found locally. Moz has an excellent list of who these sites integrate with.
Citation Resources: Each region will have different citation resources that you can take advantage of. Luickly Moz has done all the work for us, and provided a comprehensive list of the best citation websites to use for each metropolitan area in the United States. Most of the websites are redundant, but there are a few that are unique in specific areas. Take a look at that here.
Developing Localized Content
Having a content marketing plan for each location can drastically improve search results across all major search engines. Ensuring that your meta tags, URL, alt tags, and content all have the city and state included is an excellent way to localize content.
Making this content unbiased can be difficult, but using subtle tactics to promote your business works much better than shouting to the world that you are the best. Here are a few examples of article topics that can be used to help establish you as a resource locally:
- “Who is the best [niche/service] company in [location]?”
- “The top [niche/service] reviewed in [location]”
- “Where are the best [niche/service] in [location]”
Some Extra Tips:
If you can do all of these things above, your are well on your way to becoming a local SEO expert. Here are a few more tips to help you on your journey of local search engine dominance.
- Make sure your websites are mobile optimized.
- Use companies like Foxtail Marketing, Whitespark, or Brightlocal to help you if you’re not feeling confident in your strategy.
- Embed Google Maps for each location.
- Manage Google, Yelp, and Social Media reviews.
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