Creating a strategy to target a local market can be a bit complex for some. It’s about a lot more than just choosing localized keywords to include in your campaign. However, local SEO is essential for companies that are brick and mortar or that offer local services. There are various complex steps that have to be taken in order to generate traffic from your local SEO initiative.
For instance, having directory listings is key for your local SEO campaign, but you have to make sure that they’re within the right local directories. It’s essential to locate directories that are unique to the area you live in, so your chances of reaching your target audience is increased. Then there’s optimizing your listings for geospecific hyperlocal neighborhoods, rather than just providing a general location for your company.
The following tips can and should be used as your tweaking your local SEO strategy.
Accuracy and Consistency Are Key
It’s very important for your information to be consistent and accurate across all its listings, including what’s found on your website and social media. The most important pieces of information search engines look at are your business name, address and phone number (or NAP). Some marketers say NAP+W, the W standing for website.
Many online listings gather data from the web, which means they sometimes collect outdated information. According to a ConstantContact survey, 85 percent of small businesses that local search apps and directories are essential to their business, however, only half of them update their listings online. Fifty percent of these organizations know that their listings aren’t all accurate, but 70 percent state they don’t have the time to update all of their listings. If this is the case with your business, you should consider hiring SEO companies to handle this task for you.
Including Other Valuable Info in Your Listings
The basic NAP+W details are vital, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore including other important details inside of your listings. Doing this can be rather tedious, but you can always enlist the assistance of an expert from an SEO company.
According to a study performed by the Local Search Association/Burke Inc., there are certain key details users look for when browsing through local listings. The top ten pieces of information include the address, phone number, proximity to location, hours of operation, company name, website, prices, general product or service info, ratings and reviews, and comparisons of features, services, etc. Additional info that is good to include are credentials, forms of acceptable payment, brands and trademarks, and other details about your company and products.
The more information you can provide to prospects, the easier it will be for them to make a sound decision of whether or not to reach out to your company.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
Having a website with a great responsive design is recommended, but it won’t do much for your brand without some type of traffic generator. Your website is like a storefront, it’s where people come to check out your business and make purchases. But getting them there requires a bit more effort. Social media marketing enables you to build your brand quickly and get your voice heard by folks who really matter to your company, which in turn drives them to your website.
According to a 2013 Local Search Ranking Factor survey performed by Moz, locally-optimized sites fell at 18.8 percent in importance, so while it does help, it’s not the be all and end all. What does boost your local traffic substantially is social media. People are using platforms like Facebook, Yelp, UbanSpoon and TripAdvisor to find products and services. Managing your business profile on these sites will help to ensure you maintain a good image, so that prospects will trust you enough to do business with you.