Friday, April 5, 2013

What is Local SEO? A Complete Guide to promote Locally

In this article I will cover following questions:-
1.    What is local SEO?
2.    What is the need to do it?
3.    How to do it?

What Is Local SEO?
        Basically local SEO can be defined as various strategies required to be performed on website to make it rank first on local Google searches. Either you have small or large business with target on a particular country, state or region you need to optimize your webpage according to local SEO for serving the purpose to rank well in local searches.

No business owner wants his words to be heard or seen by non- interested eyes and ears; this is where local SEO helps in focusing on right customers and particular area for your business according to your services you provide. 

I will discuss various local SEO strategies and web page optimization further below.

What is the Need of Local SEO?
       You have understood What is local SEO, now it’s time to reveal its need. Before understanding its need first we need to understand what happens when we enter our search in search bar of Google and hit enter, Google basically uses your IP (internet protocol address) as a factor to give you results, it will only show you those results which are appropriate for your area. In simple words Google takes physical location of searcher in to the consideration before showing results. For example if someone is searching “restaurants” in California Google will show restaurants in California only and if someone is searching for restaurants in India it will show “restaurants” in India only, which states that Google results matters according to the country or region. Now if you search for restaurants from your mobile Google will not search according to your city then it will search for places near your current location so that you can reach their fast and easy. To make it understand I will use following example to make it more clear.

If I search for “pub” in Google it shows me this:-

Type the same in your search bar of Google and look the difference between the results.

Suppose you have business of a coffee parlor in California and think how much beneficial it would be for your business when someone searches for coffee parlors in California and your website comes at first place locally. So this is how if you are a business owner with particular region in target then you need to do local SEO to your website, above example disclose the need of local SEO.

How to Do Local SEO?
    The answer of this question always remains dark or unclear but today I would like to answer this question with best of my experience and knowledge.

Have a look on the following points.
1.    Optimize Your Website
    Start local SEO by first optimizing your website for having good ranking in local search results.
•    Make sure your website has clear and accessible WebPages and links so that Google or users won’t face any problems to accessing it.
•    Link important pages to home page.
•    Have proper XML and HTML site maps so that Google crawlers can go where ever they want.
•    Introduce robort.txt in your website. 
•    Internal linking will add plus point in your website.
•    Find and Repair broken links.

Fill Your Website with Quality and Good Content:
    Make sure your website has good content which describes services offered by you and other related information. Make your each web page loaded with title and description.
Be sure to add “alt” tag in your images and never over use a particular phrase this can harm your website, just be descriptive about what you offer.
Give Google a reason to come back and crawl your website aging up updating it frequently and give your visitors authority to have contact with you by giving them your email.

2.    Make Your Visitors Contact You Easily
    Provide complete business address details and other related contact information so that your visitors can reach you easily and display it on each web page of yours. And if you have a physical address, add a Google sitemap on your website. You can also add comments so that your visitors can comment also; the main thing is let your customers join you.

Spread Your Business Information
    Let Google and Visitors know you. Internet is a means where you can spread your business fast by listing your business in following sites:-
1.    Local Directories or Local Citations Sources
2.    Google Local

•    Local directories and citations:-

        Internet is about information more you spread about your business more Google will know about you. There are thousands of local directory websites are available, submit and list your business there with your business name, postal address, phone number, description of services, photos, working hours and other related details. Make sure to provide only correct information. Because of these directories Google as well as visitors will know you.

•    Google Local:-
Basically Google places for business is a high authority website by Google itself it lets you to register your business with related images and details of your business and sends you a post card for verification. This will help Google and customers to know about you more.
If you don’t have a proper physical address or you work from home you can hide your address but still have to verify your details but the difference will be people won’t come and knock your door.

Take Control of A
ll Your Business Information:-
    If in any case you face change in your business address or phone number then be sure to update your directories also. Don’t let any barrier to come in-between you and your customers. Frequently update your contact and related information if any occur.

3.    Social Media
Never forget to promote your business, promote your- self and got promoted by your customers. Register your business with most famous social websites like
1.    Google+(first preference)
2.    Facebook
3.    Twitter
4.    LinkedIn
Let your customers to get engaged and interact with you. Add share buttons in your websites. Let your customers to leave reviews about you on Google+ and related top social channels media. Frequently add latest updates on your business in these websites and even tweet them. The main thing is to get interaction with your customers because a good word from your customer can get you lots of business and will help to earn trust easily.

Social media is very powerful weapon in Local SEO. Once you are promoted here it will promote you automatically. Do simple but effective. More you let your customers engage with you more popularity you will get.