Are you neglecting local search engine optimization? In the world of digital marketing there is a huge difference between SEO and Local SEO. The primary differentiator is that your website is optimized for local traffic as opposed to generalized traffic. This all boils down to proper research and implementation. This article will focus on setting up your site not only on Google and Bing but also local directories that will drive traffic to your business wherever that may be. As an added bonus we will list the top 50 search engines and directories where your business should be listed!
Many of the directories will require phone, address and e-mail information. The more detailed the information, the better the chance that you will receive calls and inquiries from local customers. The larger search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo will also take into account the listings in the more locally oriented directories and that will add legitimacy to your listings on those larger search engines.
People will search for your business on the Yellow Pages as well as the other directories that we will list. If you are only listed in the top search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo you could be losing out on valuable business. By properly implementing Local SEO, you are almost guaranteed to see an influx in your local traffic.
Some pointers on Local SEO
You will want to follow some basic guidelines if you are serious about properly implementing SEO in general, especially Local SEO. Here is a short checklist on what you need to pay particular attention to:
- Title Tags – Do you have relevant keywords in the titles of each page?
- Clean URLs – Make sure that your URLs are short, clean and to the point.
- Duplicate Content – Verify that you do not have duplicate content throughout your website, this is vital.
- Non-www to www – Ensure that all your pages redirect with the www prefix.
- Webmaster Tools & Google Analytics – Ensure that both are setup so that you can see where you are making growth and where your pages are lacking.
- Indexable Menus – Ensure that your navigation items are indexable to the search engines.
- Location, Location, Location – Make sure that your website contains your location including city and state, especially in the header, footer and any relevant pages such as your contact page.
- Blog – A blog will drive an enormous amount of traffic to your website if properly implemented and regularly updated. At the very least it will have relevant keywords for search engines to pick up on. Do not hesitate to write posts that showcase your local area.
- Mobile Responsive – Many users are using their smart phones and tablets to view the web these days. Is your site mobile friendly?
- Google My Business Page – Have you claimed your Google My Business page?
- Accurate Listing – Ensure that your exact business name is listed in the search engines.
- Logo & Cover Photos – Make sure to have a prominent logo that reflects your business as well as pictures galore. People seem to connect with good, solid photography. The less stock and more genuine the pictures, the better.
Other Important Directories
- Bing – Create and claim a listing on Bing.
- Yelp – Create and claim a listing on Yelp.
- ExpressUpdate – Create and claim a listing on ExpressUpdate.
- Modify Old Citations – If your business has moved or is cited incorrectly in a directory, be prepared to fix it.
- Negative Reviews – It is a must to respond back to all negative reviews, be apologetic and be genuine.
- Generate New Reviews – Ask existing customers to write up new reviews for you. We find that it is an ideal time when closing the sale while the customer is happy.
- Call To Action – Ensure that you have a good call to action on your website.
- Phone Number – Your phone number must be prominently displayed on your website, preferably in the header, footer and contact information page.
- Testimonials – Make a testimonials page for your website, customers will see this.
- Twitter – Create and use a Twitter profile. You are most likely to find customers on Twitter vs. other social media channels.
- Facebook – Create a Facebook page for your business.
- Foursquare – Claim your venue on Foursquare.
As we promised the Top 50 Search Engines and Directories that you need to be listed in:
- 2findlocal (2findlocal.com)
- 411 (411.com)
- 8coupons (8coupons.com)
- ABLocal (ablocal.com)
- AirYell (yext.com)
- AmericanTowns.com (www.americantowns.com)
- Avantar (yext.com)
- Bing (bing.com)
- ChamberOfCommerce (chamberofcommerce.com)
- CityMaps (yext.com)
- Citysearch (citysearch.com)
- CitySquares (citysquares.com)
- CoPilot (yext.com)
- Credibility Review (dnb.com)
- DexKnows (dexknows.com)
- eLocal (elocal.com)
- EZlocal (ezlocal.com)
- Foursquare (foursquare.com)
- GetFave (getfave.com)
- GoLocal247 (golocal247.com)
- Insider Pages (insiderpages.com)
- Local.com (www.local.com)
- LocalDatabase (localdatabase.com)
- LocalPages (localpages.com)
- MapQuest (mapquest.com)
- MerchantCircle.com (www.merchantcircle.com)
- MojoPages (mojopages.com)
- MyLocalServices (mylocalservices.com)
- n49 (n49.com)
- Navmii (yext.com)
- Opendi (opendi.us)
- PhoneNumber.com (www.whitepages.com)
- Pointcom (pointcom.com)
- ShowMeLocal (showmelocal.com)
- Superpages (superpages.com)
- Switchboard (switchboard.com)
- Topix (topix.com)
- TuPalo (tupalo.co)
- USCity.net (www.uscity.net)
- VotefortheBest (voteforthebest.com)
- Where To? (futuretap.com/apps/whereto)
- White Pages (whitepages.com)
- WhiteYellowPages (yext.com)
- Yahoo! (yahoo.com)
- YaSabe (yasabe.com)
- YellowMoxie (yellowmoxie.com)
- YellowPageCity (www.yellowpagecity.com)
- YellowPagesGoesGreen (yellowpagesgoesgreen.org)
- Yellowise (yellowise.com)
- Yelp (yelp.com)
All businesses depend on Local SEO. One must put aside their traditional SEO strategies when focusing on driving local traffic. It almost takes a complete makeover of your website to make it Local SEO friendly. A couple of final thoughts are to prominently include reviews, special offers and a contact form, e.g. request an appointment form on as many pages as possible. The only way to be truly competitive these days is through local search engines and directories.
Do you still have questions on Local SEO? The digital marketing experts at Absolute Computer Solutions are ready to assist you with a variety of solutions in regard to Search Engine Optimization. Contact us today for more information – there is no obligation and consults are absolutely free.