How to Leverage Local SEO to Promote Your Small Business

General Jun 10, 2017 No Comments

Local SEO for Small BusinessIf you’re determined to leverage local SEO to promote your small business, then you’re making an intelligent effort that could drastically transform your company’s growth potential.

SEO is one of the most powerful marketing mediums. With people actively searching what your business has to offer, attaining top search engine placement can lead to highly-qualified traffic to your site and a wealth of new business.

Investing in a local SEO program to grow your local business requires a comprehensive approach. Below we outline some of the various strategies and techniques required to actualize a successful local SEO plan for your small business.

Establish an “Optimized” Web Presence

Optimization carries many meanings in the world of SEO. From a big-picture perspective, establishing an optimized web presence for your business includes:

  • Having a website that’s technically-fluid from an HTML perspective
  • Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly or responsive on all mobile devices
  • Leveraging Schema markup to better communicate your site’s content to search engines
  • Using CTAs and other conversion touch-points to ensure users can contact your business
  • Making use of internal linking and providing good navigation/usability on your site

The above, in a nutshell, are important aspects of establishing an optimized web presence. This will serve as the foundation for you Nashville business, while helping to ensure all other SEO strategies realize their full potential.

Get Listed

Having a well-optimized website can only get you so far with SEO. In fact, most of the factors that determine a site’s search engine rankings are off-site. These are the links, citations, and signals that are found on other websites, and refer back to your site.

When you get your small business listed on various directories and other related sites, you can earn what are called “citations.” That’s the technical term for mentions of your business’ name, address, and phone. The more citations your business earns on other websites (i.e. chamber of commerce site, Yelp.com, press release, etc.) the more credibility your business will have in the Google local search results.

Google uses citations as a ranking factor in it’s local search results (also commonly known as the Google 3-Pack.) The important thing to keep in mind is ensuring all citations are both accurate and consistent. Any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in your Name, Address, and Phone number will have diminished SEO value.

Generate Links

Link BuildingPart of getting listed on other sites throughout the web includes generating backlinks. For instance, not only does getting listed on Yelp.com provide citation, but also a valuable link back to your website.

Links, or backlinks, are referrals from other websites that indicate to search engines how popular, credible, and authoritative your site is. Having a high volume of backlinks from relevant sources will help your local SEO efforts.

While getting listed provides an easy win for link generation, acquiring authoritative links from relevant sites can take persistence and work. Networking, outreach, and guest authorship are just a few ways to cultivate valuable link opportunities that can drastically impact your Nashville SEO strategy.

Create Content

Content Marketing for Local SEOAnother way to generate links is to earn them. By creating exceptional content that gains favor among the masses, people may link to your site naturally. While this is a beautiful thing, it is much easier said then done.

In short, craft a content strategy for your business website. This may focus on weekly blog posts, monthly videos, or podcasting. At the very least, refreshing your website with new content gives Google a reason to come back more frequently to crawl and index your site.

So even if you’re not earning links as a result of your content strategy, you can still supplement your local SEO efforts by keeping your site fresh. New content also gives you something worthy to share on social media.

Be Social

Local Social Media MarketingBringing your content strategy and link acquisition efforts together is social media. You need to spread the word about your content and share it relentlessly throughout the web.

If you lack an abundance of social media followers, you can try “boosting” or advertising your posts to new audiences using ad platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Think of this investment as a brand building opportunity that can increase the overall value of your business.

Lastly, SEO is more about brand building. Producing amazing content and building a strong social media presence can have a direct impact on your local SEO strategy. In a competitive local search market, these channels will be vital assets to give your business the edge it needs to be a strong contender for top rankings.

Local SEO in 2017: 3 Investments That Offer The Biggest Wins

General Nov 07, 2016 No Comments

local SEO in 2017Actualizing a successful local SEO strategy requires a multi-fold approach that addresses a number of ranking factors and optimization strategies. From citations and backlinks to social media profiles and Google My Business listings, the elements that go into a comprehensive local SEO strategy can be overwhelming.

In this post, I cut out the minutiae and shed light on the SEO strategies and ranking factors that offer the greatest ROI. So as you embrace local SEO in 2017, here are three powerful investments that will offer the biggest wins over the year to come.

1.  Make Link Building a Priority Focus

Because Backlinks Fuel Domain Authority & Enduring Search Rankings

As the fuel behind domain authority (and a site’s overall ranking potential,) link building has proven to be one of the most vital aspects of bolstering your site ranking in Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

But don’t go running out of the gate looking to acquire just any links. Research has shown that Google’s search engine algorithm crawls and assesses each link’s citation flow and trust flow, which is to say that link relativity = weight in ranking. These two metrics are thought to work in tandem to parse whether the backlinks on a given site are from quality, trusted websites.

Some criteria to consider while gauging whether a site will have a high-rating citation and trust flow:

  • How does the site rank on Google?
  • How relevant is the source?
  • How many sites link to said site?
  • Is the site updated regularly?
  • Is there good user interaction (i.e. are visitors commenting or reviewing?)

That’s great, but how do I generate backlinks?

Outreach Relentlessly

One of the most obvious and organic ways to generate backlinks to your site is by simply reaching out. Consider whether other site-owners might be interested or benefit from linking to the work or service your site provides.

Questions to ask yourself before hitting send:

  • Does your site operate in the same niche?
  • Does the site link to other sites?
  • Will the inclusion of your site add value to those you’re reaching out to?

While outreach is one of the most overlooked efforts in acquiring quality backlinks to your site, there are countless other strategies (i.e. guest blogging, event sponsorship, memberships, etc.)

Without going into detail about the latter mentioned link building strategies, the following SEO components we discuss below can lend to sure-fire methods to increase link popularity.

2. Create Great Content That Sparks Engagement

Taking a More Creative, Audience-Driven Approach to Your Content

In addition to keeping your site fresh and frequently crawled by search engines, another bonafide and necessary strategy for backlink acquisition is simply creating great, digestible content. (This is why we’re here in the first place, right?)

But beyond just great content, you’ll want to focus on audience-driven content that gains the likes, shares, tweets, etc. (social signals) of your audience.

Social Media is the new “News”, and video isn’t the future, it’s the NOW

As we trek forward as a society, traditional news and journalism mediums continue to be outpaced by the explosive growth of social media. Compelling data from Cisco estimates that a whopping 75 percent of online traffic will be exclusively for video streaming by 2020; however, we’ve already started hitting that number!

comScore’s February 2016 video streaming data states that YouTube and Facebook alone had a combined number of over 263 million unique viewers per month. And that’s only from desktop devices. As the world continues to go mobile, these numbers are slated to become even more astronomical across all platforms.

Leverage Rich Media Strategies

You want your content to be highly optimized for social sharing. Be it photo or video, it’s a smart bet to start employing the use of image-based content now. Not only can you dramatically increase your click-through rates, but you’ll add engagement to your site all whilst boosting your site’s ranking potential in Google.

Pick 2 or 3 social sites you’ve found to best connect your business with your audience (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) and keep output across them cohesive with links to your site within descriptions and captions. (It’s good to use specific page URLs as diversifying links to all of your site’s pages is beneficial). Also, can try using highly visible icon links and calls-to-action in your content to further spur social engagement.

By creating great valuable and shareable content, you’ll encourage organic backlinks from visitors and followers that enjoy your work and want to share it.

3. Increase Local Rankings with Google Maps SEO (and Google My Business)

Optimizing for Keyword + City Search Queries

It’s no secret that an incredible amount of traffic that goes through Google is based on people searching for convenient, close-by goods and services on their smartphones. The more you can optimize your business for local search results (keyword + city search queries) the better you can drive highly-qualified traffic to your site. A powerful way to go about this is via local Google Maps SEO.

google maps SEO

A big step in enhancing your company’s visibility in these local results is by claiming and optimizing a Google My Business (GMB) profile. This is a simple Google-hosted profile where you can list important information like hours of operation, website, phone number, and perhaps most importantly – an address. It’s also the primary asset that contributes to a business’ ranking in the Google local 3 pack as well as ranked Google Maps results.

The GMB profile is also great for displaying photos of your business and client reviews, which both have been known to improve your Google ranking and offer quick insights into your company identity. This easy-access information allows users to make quick decisions about their search query.

Unfortunately, without a physical location, it may be a little more difficult to rank for your preferred local Google SERP; however, there are ways to work around the lack of a business address. Search Engine Land suggests that you create a GMB page on your site that’s dedicated to the city or area you service in combination with the keywords you’re targeting. Linking to this added page from within your site and propagating solid backlinks will help you build authority and improve your ranking.

Although there are many ways to improve your Google ranking, these local SEO strategies will surely give you a great start. They’re also ongoing pursuits to help ensure that your site continues to build authority and social momentum for lasting search engine value.

This article was contributed by Bret Bowerman.

Local Google Maps Optimization & Search Marketing Tips

General Oct 17, 2016 No Comments

Google Maps is undoubtedly one the best and most widely used apps Google has to offer. But it’s provides far more than just getting around without a road atlas or finding the right restaurant for lunch. Google Maps has become an incredibly powerful marketing tool for all types of businesses. google maps optimization

In essence, Google Maps marketing is a way to use Google Maps functionality to become more visible. It’s not only helpful to large businesses, but also for medium and small businesses on the local level. However, Google Maps is less about visibility, more about positioning of your business. If used in a proper way, Google Maps optimization can play a big role in your online marketing strategy.

In this short guide, we will walk you through how digital marketers use Google Maps optimization and marketing as a part of their much wider digital strategy. We will cover many essential features and things, which you need to do, as well as few lesser known, nifty tips and tricks to help your customers find you.

Google Maps Optimization Tips

Usually, most businesses are listed on Google My Business, but often fail by provide incomplete information. This results in diminished visibility and weaker rankings. You can boost your Google Maps listing with the following Google Maps optimization tips. These tips are focal to certain ranking factors that will impact your business’s visibility in the Google Maps search results.

USPS-Approved Business Address

When entering your business address, use only the one used by USPS. This includes suite, room, or subdivision details, a full 5 (or 9) digit zip code. Also check for formatting errors, as slight mistakes can affect your Google Maps ranking. You need to check whether your address is actually displayed on Maps listings. There’s a checkbox in My Business settings that states whether you would like your business details displayed. Ensure this is checked to help bring more credibility to your listing.

Specify Areas You Serve

Usually businesses have a location or storefront, so it is important to state the areas you service. You can include names of nearby towns and cities served by you, and their geographical radius from your location. You can also specify whether you service customers at your primary location, or are just a phone-only company.

Verified Google My Business

Having a verified Google My Business listing is vital to rank in the search results. This essential item in the local Google Maps optimization process is important and can take few weeks. You will receive a postcard that has a unique PIN to your Google My Business profile to your physical address from Google. In some cases, Google may allow you to verify ownership by phone.

verify google business maps optimization

Relevant Business Categories

Not only should you choose a primary category (that most clearly represents your business,) but also any additional categories that are relevant to your business, especially if you offer wide range of services. This will increase the chances of ranking for these related services, helping to drive more traffic and business to your web presence.

Optimize Your Introductiongoogle maps marketing optimization

Your Google My Business introduction is a summary of your business, the services or products it offers, and what sets it apart from your competitors. So make your introduction attractive, but avoid keyword stuffing or cramming links. Use only relevant keywords in your introduction and make it naturally well-branded more than uber-optimized for SEO.

Optimize Media for Google My Business Listing

Google Maps is a visual platform so make it more appealing by including photos that make your business stand out. It can also be an optimization opportunity for you. For comprehensive Google Maps optimization use third party apps to add some metadata to images, making them much easier to find. For instance, try adding the following media properties to make each file as optimized as possible.

Solicit Customer Reviews

User reviews Google My Business profile can help solicit new business and achieve higher Google Maps rankings. This is definitely a great form of Google Maps optimization in a competitive search market. So encourage your satisfied customers to post positive reviews about you online.

reviews google maps optimization

New Google Maps Ads

Now you can use new ad features offered in Google Maps. They are in-store promotions, promoted pins, local inventory search function and customizable business pages. These ads are shows on Maps search results on any Google Maps app, mobile and desktop versions of Google Maps site.

Lastly, be patient with the actualization of Google Maps marketing strategies. It will take some time to show but with persistence you can soon outrank your competition.

3 Insights to Help You Rethink Your Local SEO Strategy in 2014

General Dec 28, 2013 No Comments

Local SEO Insights for 2014Local SEO is a unique subset of search engine optimization. The way in which Google determines local business listings (paired with the map and little push-pins) is different from traditional organic SEO.

In 2013, local SEO strategies centered on citations and ensuring your business is listed on several top directories (i.e. Google+ Local [formally Google Places,] Yelp, Yahoo! Local, etc.) While investing the time to get listed on the top local business directories is important, it will only take your local SEO efforts so far, especially if your in a competitive marketspace.

In short, you need start looking at your local SEO efforts from a different perspective. Below are 3 significant insights to keep top of mind when embracing local SEO in 2014.

Be Active and Involved on Social Media Sites

Although many local businesses see the importance of having a presence on social media sites, many of them fail to be active and involved. The narrow-minded SEO perspective would think “Okay, our Yelp page is built. We now have a citation and a link back to our site. Done.”.

But what if you could do more to increase the authority of your Yelp page, and thus the SEO value of that citation and link back to your site?

You can.

By being active and involved with your audience, and optimizing your social media pages from every angle, you can greatly empower their SEO potential. How, exactly? Start by:

  • Reaching out and connecting (following, liking, encircling, etc.) with other respectable businesses and professionals
  • Optimizing images and uploading them to your social media pages
  • Encourage reviews from satisfied customers (perhaps by implementing an incentive program)
  • Build a following (or better yet, a community) and engage with your audience
  • Take advantage of promotions via social media networks (like Google Offers or Facebook Coupons)

Social media business pages offer immense authority for local SEO. Heck, there are some business Yelp pages out there that have a Google PR (PageRank) of 5 (and the link is DoFollow!). That’s some serious link juice compared to commonly stagnant PR 1 Yelp pages.

Lastly, earning social credibility (or social authority) is becoming a strong factor that Google uses to determine search engine rankings. Many organic SEO experts are seeing a correlation between search engine rankings and the number of Twitter and Facebook followers, Google +1’s, etc.

Local Citations Are Good, But Links Are Better

Just like traditional SEO, the amount and quality of external links pointing to a website is ultimately the greatest influence of its search engine rankings. Once you’ve gotten your business established on the top local business directories for SEO, spend some time determining various link assets for your business’s website.

Some of the best assets for local SEO include:

    • Investing in a membership at your local chamber of commerce. Members often get a listing (and a link) on the chamber website (which is both authoritative and locally relevant.)
    • Reaching out to other local businesses and professionals for guest blogging opportunities. Building these relationships are huge long-term asset for not only SEO, but marketing in general.
    • Becoming a local source for news, information, or advice. If people see value in the content you’re publishing, you can actually earn links back to your site. Think of your business as the online authority figure of what you do. If it’s DUI law, own it with videos and articles that help individuals understand their legal rights.

The last tip above stems into our next insight: becoming a content marketer.

Create Purposeful Content That Offers Value

You may be familiar with the old SEO catchphrase “Content is King!”. While that concept still holds true, its focus has changed.

It’s less about writing 700 word webpages that are jammed with keywords. Rather, it’s more about producing purposeful content that offers value to your target audience. More bluntly put, it’s all about mastering the craft of content marketing and creating meaningful content that resonates with other people.

Get yourself in the right mindset by contemplating the following questions:

        • What problems, issues, or questions does my target market have?
        • How can I help those individuals based on what I know and the resources that I have?
        • What forms of content would best get my message across in the most engaging manner?

Think about the local businesses that are owning it in both Google Search and social media sites. They are typically businesses that are constantly producing awesome articles, blog posts, videos, graphics, or podcasts, and they’re actively promoting this content on social media.

Rethink Local SEO in 2014

To rethink your business’s local SEO strategy in 2014, view your organization’s entire marketing plan. How much time and money do you have invested in traditional forms of marketing and advertising?

Perhaps you can generate ideas that can put greater emphasis on building an online content marketing strategy and building a legit social media presence. Although these efforts might seem like exclusive tactics, both most certainly influence local SEO (and will even more in 2014.)

Localize Your Internet Marketing for Better ROI

General Aug 20, 2013 No Comments

Local Internet Marketing StrategiesThe surge in mobile device usage and statistics that illustrate a large number of users who search for local goods and services on their mobile devices has led to Google gradually shifting its algorithms and implementing more social engagement to provide users with more local search results.

This trend has delivered small businesses with a huge opportunity to compete with the big boys in their industries for local consumers. It also has provided businesses that invest in Internet marketing with a lean, highly focused (local) target for their marketing efforts that produces better ROI.

Organic Search Marketing With a Local Focus

One of the most effective, ROI-producing local Internet marketing strategies is organic search engine optimization that is focused on local keyword targets.

Like traditional SEO campaigns, local organic SEO hinges on building a reputation for your business online that drives higher rankings through effective content marketing and link building.

In local organic SEO, small businesses are able to target consumers in their local area who are searching for their goods or services by optimizing for geo-modified keyword phrases. For example, if your company offers plumbing services and you’re located in Jacksonville, Florida, you might want to target the keyword phrase “Plumbers Jacksonville FL” instead of a broader, more general term like “Plumbers.”

A primary advantage of localizing your organic SEO campaign it costs less and provides higher returns for small businesses, as compared to to an Internet marketing program that encompasses broader, wider markets.

Google+ Local Offers Prime SERP Placement

The game changer for local Internet marketing came in May of 2012 when Google replaced its Google Places pages for businesses with Google+ Local listings.

Google offers local businesses prime real estate to get in front of users who search for their service/product in their local area. Google displays their listing near the top of the search engine results page (SERP) next to the local map.

Google+ Local SEO

Getting your  company listed next to the map is yet again a process of building trust with the search engines by establishing local business listings (citations), acquiring positive online reviews, and general listing optimization.

Enhanced Adwords Campaigns Cater to Local Mobile Search

If your business participates in pay per click advertising with Google Adwords, Google has made it easier for you to manage a mobile, local PPC campaign with its new Enhanced Adwords Campaigns.

It’s important to remember the significance percentage (over half) of all Google searches that are conducted on mobile devices that are done with the intention of finding a local solution.

Google Adwords has provided its advertisers with the ability to narrow the scope of their campaigns with “geo-targeting” their ads to specific locations.

This allows companies to reach highly qualified consumers in their local area, as well as users who are searching for businesses with their geo-modified keywords.

Weeding out consumers not in your local area with geo-targeting, and reaching more highly qualified consumers provides for better ROI for your campaign.

The new Enhanced Adwords Campaigns also allow businesses to easily manage their mobile PPC strategies with simple mobile ad configuration, rather than having to create a separate mobile campaign within their Adwords account, which was the previous best practice.

Now more than ever, reaching local consumers via Internet marketing is essential for sustained business growth, and implementing a locally-focused marketing strategy is going to provide your business the most bang for its buck in the long run.

Most Important Off-Site Local Ranking Factors Moving Forward

General Jan 28, 2013 1 Comment

Search engine optimization, and business for that matter, is about staying ahead of the curve. You always want to be the one setting the trends while your competition follows in your footsteps, not the other way around.

In a field that is as quickly-changing as SEO, this is even more important than in other industries. Things that were commonly accepted as industry-standard a year ago could easily be obsolete today.

David Mihm posts a list of the top local search ranking factors on his website every year. The survey is done by asking a number of local search experts to rank 90 possible positive factors and 18 possible negative factors.

Off-site factors will always be huge in ranking, and I don’t think there is a person in the world that will disagree with that statement, so I am going to go over the top 10 off-site factors and try to see which ones will be the biggest moving forward.

The top 10 Off-Site Factors in the 2012 survey (2013 list will probably be released in summer again) were as follows:

  1. Quantity of Structured Citations
  2. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  3. Consistency of Structured Citations
  4. Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations
  5. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  6. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains
  7. Quantity of Unstructured Citations
  8. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL
  9. Quantity of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Domains
  10. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain

I don’t think many people (anyone?!) in the local SEO industry would debate that these factors are important today. But since we are trying to stay ahead of the competition, which factors are going to the most important down the road, 2 years from now, 5 years from now, and even 10 years from now?

The two that stand out to me, and the ones that I am going to be focusing my efforts on, are #2 – Quality/Authority of Structured Citations and #6 – Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains.

As you can see from the list, citations, both structured and unstructured, are a huge local ranking factor. However, I feel like the quality of the websites is going to be more important than quantity moving forward. Anyone who was in the SEO industry two to three years ago knows that everyone was preaching quantity of links as the most important factor for ranking.

“Get as many links as you can, from as many sources as you can! It doesn’t matter if the sites are spammy and unrelated to your niche”, someone once advised me. Advice like that was common (although short-sighted), but it really was true: if you had more links than your competitor, you were going to rank higher than him/her.

After the Panda/Penguin updates obliterated those websites who had been obtaining tons of low-quality links using over-aggressive with anchor text, it finally became ingrained in marketers heads that quality is the key to staying in this game for the long-run, not quantity. Of course, the person with the largest quantity of quality links is going to outrank the person with a smaller number of quality links, but for now, I would focus on getting quality links and citations from related sites. Local online newspaper and magazine articles are great citations to obtain, so I will be spending a good deal of time on brainstorming ways to get those for my business.

Having said all that about quality, I move into #6 – Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains.

The reason I don’t think you have to be picky looking for quality sites that are in the same vicinity as your business is that all visitors coming from that site to your site are going to be, by default, extremely high-quality. There are just not many spammy local sites, period. Not only will links from locally-relevant websites help your business rank higher, but the visitors arriving through that link will almost all be interested in your business/service, since they clicked the link in the first place. For my business in 2013, I am trying to get as many links and citations from websites in my city as I possibly can.

I am fully expecting Quality/Authority of Structured Citations to be #1 on the 2013 list of local ranking factors. I also think Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains is going to move up a place or two. Google seems hellbent on making Google+ relevant too, so we will probably see a rise in importance of the Google+ Local pages just like we saw in 2012.

About the Author

Brian KlemmBrian Klemm is an SEO and inbound marketer at Northbound Digital, based in Chicago, IL. He specializes in local SEO and content marketing.

Feel free to connect on Twitter @NorthbndDigital or Google+.

3 eBooks to Benefit Your Local SEO Strategy

General Jan 10, 2013 1 Comment

Local SEO has become a highly regarded Internet marketing strategy, particularly for small businesses. These local businesses thrive on local consumers, and investing in a local SEO program has proven to be one of the most effective means of growing highly qualified search traffic from users in a targeted geographic area.

Because small businesses are typically budget conscious, some of these businesses try to take on their local SEO efforts on their own. While there are many awesome resources out there to educate business owners on topics and strategies for local search, eBooks are definitely a great resource to get informed on what strategies you should invest your time and effort into.

Below you’ll find 3 eBooks that discuss local SEO and small business SEO that we found useful for small businesses who wanted to take a shot at optimizing their local SEO strategy on their own.

7 Steps to a Successful Local SEO Campaign

7 Steps to a Successful Local SEO CampaignThis local SEO eBook covers 7 great topics for local business owners who want to optimize their local search campaigns and features many great takeaway points from optimizing your Google+ Local page to building citations, understanding the value of links and ways to build those links naturally to promote higher search results.

Written by Local Atlanta SEO Consultant Chris J. Everett, Principal of Captivate Search Marketing search engine marketing firm, the local SEO eBook offers step by step instructions on claiming and optimizing your Google+ local page, as well as instructs small business owners on how to seek out guest blogging opportunities to promote greater brand visibility for their companies.

Among the other topics covered in the eBook are soliciting reviews from your customers, joining local business directories, and the power of social media in local SEO.

Get Your Copy of 7 Steps to a Successful Local SEO Campaign

The Complete, Step-by-Step Guide to Local SEO

The Complete, Step-by-Step Guide to Local SEOWritten by Traverse City SEO guru Tyler Tafelsky, The Complete, Step-by-Step Guide to Local SEO dives into the very basics of local SEO campaigns, discussing keyword research techniques to help business owners uncover the most relevant keywords they might want to target in their campaign.

The Complete, Step-by-Step Guide to Local SEO also covers other major touch points in local search such as claiming and optimizing your companies Google Places and Yellowbook pages, as well as points business owners to other online directory sites such as Yelp and Merchant Circle to help build out more relevant citations online.

This local SEO eBook also touches base on such local SEO strategies as earning client reviews, claiming and optimizing your Yahoo! and Bing business listings, and using a uniform Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) throughout all of your listings.

Get Your Copy of The Complete, Step-by-Step Guide to Local SEO

SEO for the Small Business Owner

SEO for the Small Business OwnerThe final eBook we’ll discuss is SEO for the Small Business Owner, an eBook written by John DiBella of NetLocal, a small business SEO firm in Philadelphia. DiBella’s eBook gives small business owners a background on local SEO and why it’s important to include in their overall marketing objectives.

SEO for the Small Business owner also discusses keyword research and discovery for local SEO campaigns using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. DeBella’s eBook also dives into such on-site optimization strategies as optimizing Meta Tags (Title, Description, Keywords) and the on-page content and structure, and how to write for the search engines.

Of course, because of it’s importance to Local search, SEO for the Small Business Owner also has a section that covers Google Places optimization techniques.

Get Your Copy of SEO for the Small Business Owner

If you’re a small business owner who is looking to get informed on local SEO and strategies to help your website get more traffic from local consumers, these three eBooks are a great way to get acquainted with the topic.

Rand Recap “Discovering Local Citation Opportunities” for Local SEO

General Dec 07, 2012 No Comments

Yesterday Local SEO Kingpin published a post offering SEO tips for the Google local listings. One of the tips focused on creating business listings, or citations, on web directories and other local websites.

In today’s SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin provides valuable insights on this very topic: discovering local citation opportunities. The video offers some excellent information to build quality citations to improve your local SEO efforts.

If you haven’t already found out, SEOmoz just acquired GetListed.org. This resource allows you to see how your business is listed on Google and other local search engines. Based on this information, you can confirm your business’s citations and explore opportunties to create new ones.

The acquistion is a good indicator of where Google search is headed. Rand’s reference to the “local one box” and keyword searches with “local intent” are becoming increasinly popular. Check out the Whiteboard Friday video below, and let us know what you think!

 

6 Super Simple Tips for Google Local SEO

General Dec 06, 2012 No Comments

The Google local search results are essentially the new YellowPages. Google users are immediately drawn to the Google local listings for many reasons.

    • The Google local listings are accompanied by a Google Map, offering a visual representation for search engine users.
    • Users can read reviews for each listing to learn more about what others had to say about a business.
    • The Google local search results are perceived with greater trust and credibility for quality information.

For any business that feeds of local customers in its market space, Google local SEO is one of the best channels to earn lead-generating advertising exposure. Just do a Google search for any keyword that has local relevance (e.g. restaurants, fitness centers, law firms, CPAs, etc.) Google delivers localized search results based on either your IP address, or if you’re logged into you’re logged-in your personal Google account, such as Gmail.

Before we get into the goods, it’s important to bring your awareness to the Reviews found under each listing. Although the main headline link for each listing directs users to the business’s actual website, the Reviews link will take users to a Google Plus page.

Similar to Google Places pages, which were replaced by Google Plus pages in May of 2012, there’s much more contributing to the rankings of these Google local listings than a strong website.

Google Local SEO Tips (That Your Marketing Manager Can Handle)

Google local SEO is not a mysterious formula or technical science. In fact, these local SEO tips are simple tasks that almost anyone can handle. Just be sure that you have the ability to edit the content of your website, and that you’ve successfully created a Google Plus page for your local business.

  • Be sure to have a link on your business’s website that points to its Google Plus page. The HTML code for this link can be found on your business’s Google Plus page while in edit mode. It will include the suggested anchor text “Follow us on Google+” along with “rel=publisher” snippet in the link’s code.
  • Include the full address of your business on all pages of its website. Two ideal places for this is a site-wide header or the footer (or put your addy on both!) Make sure that the address is entirely accurate and exactly matches what’s on your business’s Google Plus page. From a local SEO perspective, this called a citation and verifies the legitimacy of your business’s tangible location.
  • Verify your business’s address on its Google Plus page. This will require a manual submission in which Google sends a postcard to the address with a verification PIN. When you receive the postcard, you can submit the 4-digit PIN on the Google Plus page.
  • Create more business listings (citations!) on various other directory websites, such as Manta, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo! Local, Yellowpages, LinkedIn, and Kudzu. Google will align the address information from these listings with that of your business’s Google Plus page to further ensure its local legitimacy. You can research quality directory sites by using great resources like this insightful article, or try a paid tool like Yext.com
  • Keyword optimize (not keyword stuff) the page titles, meta description, and page copy of your homepage and key inside pages with your target keywords, respectfully. Try to include the city name of your business in each of these elements to help establish local relevancy for SEO.
  • Populate the Google Plus page with sufficient information about your business, and when appropriate, use your keywords and geographic targets. Also, put together a system that motivates happy customers to make reviews on your business’s Google Plus page. In most cases, Google Plus pages with a higher number of reviews will have more authority in the Google local search rankings.