All too often, I talk to small businesses that are trying to target their local market and want to do search engine optimization. They try to target high volume search terms such as ‘lawn care’ or ‘electricians’. If you are trying to reach your local area through online marketing, there are some simple things that you can do to greatly improve your results…
While search marketing for local businesses can be very involved and there are a lot of things to consider, I want to point out two simple things that you can do today.
Target local search terms
Targeting high volume and general search terms such as ‘lawn care’ and ‘electricians’ is not a bad strategy, but it takes a lot of effort to get a good ranking for those highly competitive search terms. A simpler strategy is to target local search terms such as ‘Snellville lawn care’ or ‘electricians 30078’. People who are looking for local businesses are bound to type in the city, zip code, county or state in which you are located. The best way to be sure you are targeting these terms is to include your business address on every page of your website. Also, make sure that you have a page that gives people directions to your place of business and uses these local search terms in the page title.
Claim your local listings
Search engines are getting smarter and are integrating local business listings into the search results. Google shows the top ten local businesses at the very top of the search results for local business searches. What does this mean to you? It means that while you may rank #1 for the search term ‘Snellville lawn care‘, you may show as result #8 in the search results if you don’t claim your local listing with Google!
To ensure that you show up in the local business listings, you have to claim your listing in the local directory for each search engine. You will have to input basic information about your business:
A Simple Plan
So I am going to make it easy for you and lay out your action plan. Take an hour out of your day to do the following:
- Make sure your business address is on every page of your website. (Estimated time: 5-10 minutes)
- Make sure your city, zip code, county and state appear in the page title tag on the page you want to rank for your local search terms. (Estimated time: 5-10 minutes)
- Submit your site to the three local business directories listed above. (Estimated time: 15 minutes each)
If you are using software such as WordPress, the first two steps will probably only take you 5 minutes. Otherwise, you may need to know some HTML or contact your webmaster to make the changes.
If there are some other simple things that you have had great results with, be sure and let us know! We would also love to hear how these pointers have improved your local search traffic!