Does Local Search SEO Matter for Small Business Marketing?

local search seoWhen was the last time you went out to the theatre, or the cinema or indoor sky diving? Did you go there and then go straight home? Probably not, the chances are you probably stayed local and got a bite to eat or a drink. If you were super organised perhaps you searched Google before you left and typed in something like “restaurants near theatre x”, “places to eat by indoor skydiving centre”, or maybe you checked on your mobile while you were at the venue.

The point is that people are constantly looking for places, items of interest or things to buy in and around the vicinity of where they are. The question is, what are you doing as a business owner to capitalise on that?

Trying to go after the local search seo market for the keyword “restaurant” is difficult, in fact it is very difficult. But targeting the keyword phrase “restaurant in north Manchester” or “restaurant near the playhouse theatre” might be more achievable. Plus, you have the added incentive of knowing that the searchers are highly targeted customers for your offer and (this maybe a positive for restaurateurs) those people will not spend all night in your restaurant as they have a show to catch meaning you will definitely have the table free for another party of guests.

So if you are keen to capitalise on local search seo traffic for your business then here are a few changes that you can make to get results.

1. Target the Right People

Until you know who you are targeting there is not much point doing SEO. What words are your potential customers using to find your business? Ask them! When people are in your store, restaurant or practice ask them what terms they used to find your business in the search engines. Ask them what search engines they used and ask them what other search terms they would enter into a search engine to find business similar to yours.  Once you have a collected a good volume of results use Google’s free Keyword Tool to carry out keyword research and narrow down the result to the ones that are actually getting searches and use them for the basis of your SEO campaign.

2. Alter Your On Page Optimisation

On page optimisation is a process by where you tailor your copywriting, so the search engines can index them in the correct place and your targeted users can find them. To help them index your page in the right place, relevant to your keyword, make sure your keyword is prominently displayed in the title of the page.

By having your keywords in the title tag you will also be making sure that when targeted people land on the page they find exactly what they are searching for, resulting in increased conversions, phone calls, bookings and sales.

3. One Page, One Keyword

Even though “Restaurants East Cheshire” maybe a keyword that you are targeting it should only be used on one page. If you have two or more pages optimised for the same keyword then the search engines will choose the page that it feels is more relevant and this may not be the page that you have optimised for conversions.

If you are not happy with the page that you have then either edit the page or delete it and start afresh leaving you with one targeted page per keyword.

4. Go into detail

Sticking with “Restaurants East Cheshire”, in order to provide the search user with greater detail about the search you may consider providing a page on “things to do in East Cheshire” or think about providing information on the specific town your are in, in this case you could do “Italian restaurants in Crewe” or simply “Italian restaurant”. The link is relevant to the search user and this is a great way of attracting targeted links back to your most important pages.

5. Add your address to every page.

Local SEO is all about getting people to convert into buyers or visitors to your local store. That being the case, make sure it is obvious where your store is by having your address on every page of your website. Make everything as easy as you can for the user to find your details and act upon them. It also reinforces your location to the search engines so when people are searching for localised information your pages should be indexed.

This is by no means a defacto list for optimising your website for local search SEO but by adopting these 5 principles you will definitely put your business on the map and be in a great position to capitalise on local people that are searching for your products.

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