A great website is an essential tool for any business, whether a large national company, or a small local enterprise. There is an important difference in the type of search engine optimization that local businesses need in order to stand out to local customers and not get lost in the vast sea of non-local competitors. By using the right strategies, a small business can succeed in their SEO efforts by targeting the right audiences!
SEO and Local SEO – Differences
Optimization is optimization, regardless of the targeted audience. It is a means of exposure to the right people to create interest that can lead to conversions. The general aspects of good optimization, such as providing great content and having a well optimized website, are common for both global and regional needs.
On a local scale, there are other requirements for a business to prosper with the right customers – the ones in their own neighborhood. It does little good for a company to have a great global page ranking if they do not operate globally. For the best search engine optimization results, effort must be concentrated on local ranking. Many techniques are the same; it is how and where it is used that makes the difference.
Creating Local Exposure
There is much more to consider when it comes to exposure than printed Yellow Pages. Every business should still be listed in this directory, since it is a major mistake to assume everyone is online. Yet relying only on the Yellow Pages is an even bigger mistake because most people today actually are online.
The way to get most exposure is through a combination of methods. The use of the internet for shopping and doing business continues to skyrocket, as does the sale and use of smart phones. This basically proves the need for both online and offline exposure methods for best search engine optimization results.
For a business to have great online local exposure, their website must be easy to view and navigate, have a good local company reputation, and have directory listings where consumers might go to find them. Therefore, for a company to have the best local search engine optimization results, they must incorporate the following:
A easy-to-use and optimized website design that is viewable on any device or platform.
A listing in popular consumer directories such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Google+ Local, Bing and Yahoo Local to name a few.
Social media pages with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare that allows local viewers to “friend” or “follow” a company.
Testimonials and reviews from satisfied local customers to help promote regional reputation, trust, and brand recognition.
When a company does not need to attract business beyond their local area, spending time and money seeking a global page rank is wasteful and works against local efforts. Any business likely to be sought using a town or city name should make local search engine optimization a top priority. Even huge corporations with local branches often have separate websites for each branch that also should rank on a local level. A company must concentrate on being seen in the places their target consumers will look for them – locally!
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