Local SEO has changed everything.

Local SEO has changed everything.

There are many cases where search engine optimization on the national or global scale is necessary. If you own a business that sells things on the internet and can service and draw customers from all over the country or the world, then SEO should target generic phrases that describe the business you provide. Over the course of the last few years, the landscape for SEO strategy has been changed through the implementation of Google Local, and it does not look like it is going to change back to the old methods any time soon. So what does this mean for your search engine optimization efforts, and how should you alter your strategy that your seo company has suggested? Consider the way that local search is impacting the customers that you draw from, and apply logic to your program.

Define your customer base: If you are a business that draws physical business in a traditional location, then your website is attempting to attract potential customers from the local area, or those who may soon be in the local area. Google has made great strides at identifying where the physical presence of your business resides, through scanning text and code for addresses to HCARD data that the website designer has included on the page. If you are drawing customers from a local area, you must assist Google in identifying that local area, because the more you trust that they will get it right, the more chance there is that they will index someone higher than you. Keep in mind that this is SEO, and the ultimate goal is not only to be presented on Google, but to be presented HIGHER than your competition. Google is comparing you to other websites like yours, and if you make it more difficult to figure out information than the next guy, then Google is going to put the next guy over you in the results. You need to identify your location, both in meta-data and in text, on as many pages of the website as possible.

Use Google Local: All major search engines now have local aspects, and require physical businesses to set up an account that feeds data to them about the location. Google is the most advanced in this regard, requiring you to set up or claim your Google Local listing, populate the information inside it, and match that information as perfectly as possible to the information on the site itself. This requires work outside of the website, and it is very important that you maintain the listing so as to be in control of what is being said about you there, as well as making Google understand aspects of your business. Claim your listing.

Follow the rules: There are several rules regarding your Google Local listing. You cannot stuff location keywords into the description or name of the business. Basically, do not try and claim a listing called “Las Vegas SEO” is the name of your business is not “Las Vegas SEO.” Do not try and describe yourself as “A Las Vegas SEO,” but instead answer the question “What service do you provide?”

Maintain the social media: Google is now allowing for reviews of your business through people’s Google accounts, and they are allowing a 1 to 5 star rating to be associated. These ratings are visible when someone searches for your type of business and you are presented, but more importantly the star rating is visible at all times. This gives an added visual cue to anyone looking at the results, and can draw their eye to you even though you may not be the top listing. Try to develop ratings on Google and other social media sites through programs in your business (giveaways, bonuses) or using a system like Localized Focus to develop social media mentions.

Local SEO has now become the dominant factor in all search engine optimization for localized businesses. Google is very good at figuring out information, but providing it to them is even better

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