As the internet gets more sophisticated, search engines are trying to become more consumer focused by giving people the most useful results that they can. One of Google`s biggest drives at the moment is towards giving location specific results. Technologies such as GPS can show Google a consumer`s location and then give location specific results. So how can you as a business ensure that you are found under these new algorithms?
The main two ways are by having your specific location information readily available on your website and also becoming strongly linked within your location`s community. This way you are attacking from two sides by targeting both consumers’ online and physically local consumers. Here are five ways to get that information out there.
Get Your Address And Contact Information On Your Website – It might seem obvious but it`s surprising how many websites don`t have their address and phone number available for the world to see. For people to find you, you need to tell them how, so make sure that your name, address(s) and phone number(s) are easily found on your website. Putting a map on your site may also help. Remember to put your name; address and phone number as html, and not just an image, because the text in an image is not searchable.
Publish Local Content – It`s always good to show that you’re part of a community both online and offline. By posting content about local events, industry news and issues, you are firstly showing that you are in touch with your community but also boosting your local search ability.
By showing that you have your finger on the pulse locally and becoming an authority in your niche, you are also more likely to get local business.
Create Location Pages On Your Website – If you have stores or offices in different locations, create a location page for each one. Make sure that you include their address and contact phone numbers, but you can also include photos, information on local events, and even feature employees from that location. You can also include opening times, parking information and testimonials from happy customers.
Get Some Reviews – Having reviews is essential in local SEO, so try to encourage customers and clients to give you some. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so; otherwise the only reviews that you get will be complaints! Facebook is a great tool to get reviews, so you could link to your Facebook page, or create a form in a newsletter. A short questionnaire inviting comments is also a good idea – you can always tempt people with a competition entry if they fill out your questionnaire. And there is always the good old pen and paper which you could leave on a shop counter for example.
Get Citations On Other Websites – If you can manage to become an authority in your area, people will begin to ask you for information. If you can get local businesses to come to you, or even use information which is already out there you will automatically become linked to that local website. It is better still if you can get a link to your site from theirs, but even without a link this is really valuable.
The development of algorithms is meaning that it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to `keyword` their way to SEO. It`s now about being honest, useful and informative. So get all of that useful information that you have stored up inside your business out there for all to see and they will come to you.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)