Local SEO is very confusing to many but if understood, the principles that apply are so simple. There is no magic bullet for local SEO and it is pure hard work and more of an art than a magic formula. To get your website to top rankings locally in search engines, there are certain principles to adhere to in order to accomplish that. This local search engine optimisation can affect your website's search ranking factors in local search pages, depending on how it was done.
For the past few years, SEO became a buzz word for all the webmasters out there and everyone is talking how to get and guarantee top page rankings. Google and search engines have caught up with that since there has been a proliferation of black hat methods. Black hat methods are unethical ways to rank a website but everything has changed now. Gone are the days where people can just put spam keywords all over their web content. Google, Yahoo, and Bing can now detect such malpractices.
Nowadays, the hottest buzz word is SEO. Search engines want to deliver more relevant content to the searches so it doesn't stop with SEO. The word to look out for now is “Local SEO”. Local SEO gives more relevant information to searchers and it also brings more targeted visitors to small business owners. This confused many because they treated global SEO and local SEO interchangeably-which is a big mistake.
Many SEO gurus entered the scene to take advantage of the new buzz. They offered SEO and search resources like “Secret Local SEO Guide and Advice Books” which, if one would thoroughly examine the content, most of the things written down were rehashed and copied from an obscure website. However, there are also excellent local SEO books that are available in the market but they don't come cheap. These books show the tested and ethical ways to push a website to the top local search results.
Here is a basic local SEO checklist to guide everyone, particularly you, the aggressive business owner:
1. Optimise your site for a certain keyword, product, prospective customers, and geography. It is important that these four factors are balanced, just like a chair would be very unstable if one leg is missing.
2. Design your website in such a way that it coincides with your product, your customer's profile, and the culture of the local place where you operate your business.
3. Get your website indexed in local search engines as well as in the big three: Google local, Yahoo local, and Bing. Getting indexed is different from being ranked. You get your site indexed first and your site would be ranked later.
4. Rank your site locally for specify keywords targeted to your local community. How to do this? You can do keyword permutations or combinations with the places that you are targeting. If you are operating your business in Sydney, insert the name of the place in the keyword, like this: “real state property Sydney”.
5. Get your site listed in local directories. Drop your links to as many local directories you could find but make it sure that the website directory is relevant to your product and services.
6. Build links to get your site ranked well for a certain keyword. Don't do too much at first because search engines would treat you as a spammer. Do it naturally while you participate in WEB 2.0 sites.
7. Take advantage of the social networking sites. There are local SEO for social media optimisation. Build contacts and friends and be an authority in your niche product or services.
8. List your site to Google maps or MapQuest. Put your target main keywords and a good description of your business. This is very important to local SEO since you want to increase your business visibility.
9. Install analytics to your website. It is a mortal sin for local SEO not to install analytics to your site. It helps you in your online marketing decisions. Analytics lets you know the fundamental information of what works and what doesn't for you so you could adjust your strategy if needed.
10. Be innovative in your online marketing strategies to get more traffic and level up your conversions and sales leads. Think of ways how to have a continuity system for long-term cash inflow.
This is not an extensive list but, at least, you can start to apply these steps and see results. However, there two choices a business owner like you can choose from, either you do it yourself or let a local SEO expert do it. Take action now!