The World Wide Web is just that - a way to reach the entire world through digital marketing. But what if your market area is just one city, region, or a handful of localities - not the whole world?
In your case, focusing your SEO or content creation efforts on the whole world would be a wasted effort.
What good would it be, for example, if you're a commercial cleaning company located in Dallas, for people in Atlanta searching for "commercial cleaning" to find your company? Wasted effort.
So, if you're looking for commercial cleaning leads, and aren't optmised for local seaches, you stand to lose a chunk of business.
Fortunately, there are solutions, and lot's of them. We'll tackle them all, from on-page SEO, to link-building strategies, to long-tail keywords.
How to Optimize for Local Searches Using Your Website
1) Create content - and lots of it.There's still some debate over which is better: static or dynamic content. Static content is just that: web pages that rarely change, banners, YouTube videos, etc. Dynamic content equates to fresh content: blog posts, info-graphics, and social media. What about conversion rates?
Write SEO-specific dynamic content for local searches:
- Blog posts using localized keywords.
- Blog posts about local news or events.
- Case studies you've done.
- Social media posts using localized keywords.
- Write complementary blog articles about parallel industries.
Internet marketing for commercial cleaning companies is all about blogging. Do some complementary blogging about businesses you engage with, such as a janitorial supplies company. You'll be a hero. And in the article you can talk up topics such as green cleaning products.
2) Optimize the 5 critical SEO elements of your website:
Every page of your website needs to be optimized for these 5 key elements, plus other key SEO elements. There are specific parameters Google will be looking for. For example, an <h1> header tag on every page, and good use of keywords in the page content.
3) Use long-tail keywords in your page content.
"Long-tail" is an SEO term for "specific, detailed."
Example: You're a commercial cleaning company in Dallas and you want to educate your audience on mold problems and what to do about them.
Bad keyword title: "How to get rid of mold"
Good long-tail keyword title: "Mold Problems in Dallas: What You Can Do About It"
Both people and Google will find your post when they search using the long-tail keyword above ("mold problems in Dallas"), or one like it. If they search for, "what to do about mold problems in Dallas" or "companies in Dallas who can get rid of mold problems" it will all work for you.
Don't overdue this, or you could get penalized by search engines. This would be bad: "We're a commercial cleaning company in Dallas. Dallas needs commercial cleaners because companies in Dallas get dirty fast and need commercial cleaners."
4) Have localization pages.
If your business has multiple locations or you service a wide area, consider having one page for each location. Try to keep the pages as unique as possible. While this is a good idea, remember that you are creating static content here. Localization in blogging still is better for SEO, but if you do both, blogging and the static local pages, all the better.
5) Mobile optimize your website using a responsive design.
Having a responsive designed website is mission-critical for most industries these days - it's life or death for some, like restaurants. When was the last time you used a smart phone or tablet to view a website?
How to Optimize for Local Searches Using Other Websites
Your website is the most important thing out there, but don't forget there are other websites out there than can help you.
1) Register your business with Google+ local. Here's how to do it. This is important, as Google+ pages are now starting to show up in searches:
Also don't forget to submit to other search engines such as Bing.
2) Try to get some inbound links (backlinks).
- Guest blog on other sites.
- Post on social media accounts other than your own.
- Engage on social media; retweet, respond to tweets.
- DON'T go buy some backlinks.
3) Get listed on local sites.
You may find the highest value (link authority) of signing up for anything is your local Chamber of Commerce. Make sure they'll put your website URL on their site. Better, if you can add CTA's, landing pages, and offers to their site. There could be tremendous value in doing so.
Some listing services will do all the heavy lifting for you, like Moz Local. They'll charge a fee, but it might be worth it for you.
4) Get reviews.
According to Forbes, even negative reviews can be helpful. If you get a negative review and can post a reply, do so as quickly as possible, identifying with the complaint and offering to fix it.
Key take-a-ways on how to get found locally:
- "Content rules" - so focus most of your time and efforts on generating content.
- SEO your website.
- Use long-tail keywords but don't overdo it.
- Strategize ways to post about local businesses or events.
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