If you have a “bricks and mortar” business, you still need a great online presence. People are getting more involved in doing a local search on the Internet to do business with local merchants these days. And for this reason, you need to capitalize on the power of local search engine optimization to remain competitive.
With the global economy and the outreach of the World Wide Web today, what is so important about a local search? Well, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As business becomes more global, people start remembering the importance of community and locality.
People may do a great deal of their research into businesses on the Internet today, but they still like knowing that if they needed, or desired, to they could come see you in person. It gives them a greater sense of trust.
People also like to keep their own local economy thriving. So, with local search engine optimization, you capture the business of those who are doing today’s typical “product plus MY town” Internet search.
Besides local search engine optimization content, you want to capture local search business with strategic submissions to directories and other hubs. But let’s look at some key underlying strategies now.
- Submit your website to Yahoo. Yahoo is the leader when it comes to local search help. They mix their Yahoo 360 social networks with local listings. This means that businesses not only get listed, they get rated by people who have used them, making people’s searches that much more informative. Note that the new search engine Bing is coming on strong with this localized search information as well, so submit your website to them, too.
- Remember the mobile search market. People love to be on the move, so they are turning more and more to their hand-held Internet devices like the iPhone and the Touch Diamond. Think of how things will look to someone like that when you conceive your local search engine optimization content.
- Press Releases — there are free PR websites that you surely want to take advantage of whenever your business is doing something new or reaches a milestone. PR content gets picked up by journalists and can spread fast. It can end up in your local online and print newspapers.
- CitySearch is a huge provider of local information for sites such as Ask, MSN, Ticketmaster, Expedia, and so on.
- One important aspect of local search engine optimization is putting your physical address and phone number within an “address” tag at least on your contact page and one other page (if it’s just one other page, make it your homepage). But easily, the best option is placing your address on every page of your site. This information builds both trust and your website’s search engine results rankings.
- Use microformats when building your local search content.
Now, what are the top directories and other hubs for taking advantage of the local search?
- MojoPages.com. People Powered Yellow Pages;
- Yelp. Restaurant Reviews, Doctors, Bars, Salons, Dentists and more;
- Citysquares.com. Buy Local;
- Switchboard.com. Yellow Pages, White Pages, Maps, and more;
- SuperPages.com. Yellow & White Pages;
- Yellow Pages. Phone book services at Yellowbook.com;
- InfoSpace. Listing in Yellow & White Pages;
- Ask Business Search;
- Google Local Business Center;
- Yahoo! Local Merchant;
- Google Webmaster Tools;
- InfoUSA Sales Solutions.
So, now you have a greater understanding than most of your competitors about how to capitalize on local search tendencies. For help with creating your local search engine optimization, contact an SEO Consultant.