Implementing A Local SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization can be a tricky thing, and one of the hardest parts of the process is deciding where you want to be the most effective. A lot of people want to go straight to the top and battle everyone. For instance if I am a mechanic, I might say I want to come up anytime someone searches for the word mechanic. When you Google mechanic you are given 162 million search results (as of this posting at least). That is a lot of competition, and the sad reality is that some of that competition has a bigger budget and more resources to make them come up before you. The phrase mechanic is a very broad and unspecific search, and is what is often called a top level keyword. A top level keyword is often a single word that most quickly describes an industry or niche. As a result a top level keyword usually spans many different variants of an industry or niche. When I searched for mechanic Google doesn’t know if I am looking for a car mechanic or an airplane mechanic and that is the reason for so many results for a single word/phrase.
Top Level Keywords
Getting on page 1 of a SERP (search engine results page) is pretty much the dream, but what about all of the businesses and individuals that don’t have the budget or resources to put in to get to the top? Implementing a local SEO strategy can greatly benefit your traffic, especially for small and independently owned business. Most small businesses are not looking to serve everyone and are more focused on their immediate surrounding areas. Putting a focus on local SEO allows you to go after a page 1 result for a top level keyword for your area, which is really what you want. You want potential local customers or clients to find you.
How Local is Already Built Into Google
Google is already pushing local results so a local SEO strategy only increases your chances of a high rank that much more. You can see from the image above that even though I searched for mechanic Google knows 1) that I am in Phoenix, AZ and 2) shows me local results first. There is definitely a focus on local by Google.
So there are clearly benefits to developing a local SEO strategy for your business, but how do you do this? The first thing that you need to do is target the local markets that you want to do well in. This should be one specific city that you target with no more than 10 surrounding cities. Once these cities are picked it is very important to work them into and throughout your site. Both in your content (chances are this will not be hard and may already be done) as well as your optimization of items such as your sites <title> tag, <meta> tags, image and link alt and title attributes.
Your domain is also an easy place to help you with your local SEO strategy. Including your main city in your domain name can be extremely beneficial for your SERP ranking. Going back to my original example if I am a mechanic in phoenix a good domain name to have would be phoenixmechanic.com, or something close to it. With this however the decision must be made by you on which is more important…branding or search ranking. You may be lucky and your domain that you are using for creating your brand already has your main city in it.
Google also gives you an easy tool that will aid in your local SEO domination with Google Places. Having a Google Places account will literally put you on the map, Google Maps that is. Claiming your business on Google Maps allows you to create a profile for your business that includes information about your business and most importantly a link to your website. When doing a local search it is often Google Place profiles that show up first. This is something that should be setup from the very beginning.
We are here to help
As with any SEO strategy there are still challenges to overcome depending on your goals and industry or niche. WeDoDev can help you implement a successful SEO strategy that targets and provides results in your immediate and surrounding areas. Learn more about what WeDoDev can do to help you and request a quote to get started.