Why get local search engine optimization?
I noticed in the past 5 years more and more businesses are interested in investing in improving their local search-engine rankings. Every year more and more people are chosing to go the search-engine route to find local businesses. It is estimated that more then 80% of adults refer straight to the internet for their local search needs. With the explosion of mobile web browsing and net-books, it has become vital for small businesses to have an online presence regarding local searches.
It used to be common practice for every small business to advertise in the yellow pages. In the last few years a major shift has occurred in advertising from costly and ineffective print marketing to online. One other thing to note is that Yellow page ads are only distributed in their local municipality, whereas Google, Yahoo, and Bing have a global reach. Actually“The last time I remember using the yellow pages was for a door stop during Halloween.”
Why you should optimize for your local search rankings
The process for getting good local search term rankings is very similar to SEO in general, and in many cases a lot easier to do. Any legit SEO company should already be including local SEO methods in their campaigns. Since local listings are basically a narrowed down category, there is usually a lot less competition.
Here is an example of how a search term category and competition is narrowed and focused on Google:
SEO= 11,100,000 searches per month, High Competition
SEO Canada= 9,900 searches per month, High Competition
SEO Edmonton= 1,600 searches per month, Medium Competition
Many small businesses have not yet caught on to the power and potential of SEO optimizing for local rankings, which makes the timing perfect for grabbing and dominating the lions share of local search-engine SERP’s in your area. One thing that holds true amongst search engines, is that it is a lot easier to hold a first page ranking then it is to climb your way up and knock someone off from it. A lot of it has to do with domain age and how long you have held a particular ranking. The powerful thing about focussed local searches is they are usually very targeted thus yield a high rate of conversion.
SEO Methods for improving Local search-engine results can include:
- Viewable Addresses
- Viewable phone number
- web page content
- Photos & Videos
- Some authority local directory submissions such as:
- Yahoo Local
- Trip Advisor
- Insider Pages
- Niche Data Sources
- Anchor texted Backlinks
- Local link exchange
There is no doubt that there are many unaware local business that could hugely benefit from local SEO. SEO in general is still a widely misunderstood concept. As we see small to medium sized business catch up in the web presence arena, the need for a well rounded online presence is only going to exponentially increase. The smart businesses that gain control of this element early on will have a big advantage over the late comers.