SEO for Beginners: Tips for Local Domination
Here are some tips on SEO for beginners you should pay some attention to. You know what they say in business: If your customers can’t find you on the map, they’ll find your rivals instead! That’s just as true for online businesses.
One of the quickest ways for your customers to find you these days is through the Internet. But because the online market has grown fiercely competitive (and understandably so), optimizing a site for a keyword you hope to dominate isn’t enough to get the job done. You have to go local to target customers more effectively.
That’s why local search is becoming even more important than in the past. More and more businesses realize the value of optimizing their sites for local search terms, getting listed on local directories, and claiming their profiles on major search engines’ local listing services.
Today, we are going to talk about three of the most potent and productive ways to position your business to dominate local search results.
Optimizing with local search in mind
Search engines should be able to tell right away which neighborhood, city, or region your site is optimizing for. For that reason, you should make a point of including a specific page on your site where the physical address for your business is prominently displayed.
You can also write on-page content about the city where your business is located, and spread key terms associated with your region all over the site. Write about local landmarks and other items of interest that are unique to your area.
On-page optimization is key to telling the search engines what your site is about and which area or areas your business is optimizing for. But there’s another, equally compelling, method you should focus on.
Get listed on local online directories
Off-page optimization increases the chances of your site winning a more favorable ranking on search engines. Creating high-quality links to your site from third-party websites impresses the search engines. They tend to view that as evidence that other sites have awarded yours a vote of confidence.
One of the best ways to create high-quality links to your site is to get your domain listed on local online directories. But you don’t want to join directories that have low pagerank. It will only pay off for you if you can list your site on a local directory that has at least the same pagerank as yours, and preferably a better one.
Follow best practices when you list your site on directories. Be sure to have it listed under the correct location, and always include the exact address. Also, make sure your business gets listed under the appropriate professional category.
You can put your business on as many local web directories as you like. Doing so increases the odds that your operation will enjoy greater exposure and achieve a broader reach. But while it’s generally useful to get your business listed in as many local directories as possible, the final tactic I want to mention is perhaps proving to be the most fertile these days.
Claim your business’s profile on Google Plus Pages
Google Plus Pages is an indispensable local search tool. There are plenty of other local online tools that you should place your business profile in — such as the ones hosted by Yahoo! and Bing — but at the moment, Google Plus Pages definitely takes first place.
Google Plus Pages allows businesses to update and easily manage their company’s physical location so it always appears accurately and prominently in Google Maps and, more importantly, in Google’s organic search results.
When listing your business on Google Plus Pages and similar online services, be sure to double-check that your address is spelled out correctly. If it isn’t, you will automatically lower the number of searches that find you, based on correctly spelled location requests. You’ll want to include your phone number as well as your email address.
Aiming for local ensures that your business gets found by your target customers with ease. By properly optimizing your site for the local search terms, getting listed on local directories, and claiming your profile on Google Plus Pages, you can place your business in the best possible position to dominate the local market.
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