Local search is rapidly growing. In fact, it has been estimated that by 2015, 30% of all searches will have local intent, when compared with 12% in 2009 that’s a significant jump. Eighty percent of all searches conducted via mobile phone are for local services and products, which means if you aren’t thinking about local SEO for your business, you may soon be left trailing behind your competitors. Follow these 5 local SEO do’s to make sure your business climbs to the top pages of the search engine rankings.
1. Do optimize for localized keywords. This means including the location you want to target in your keyword phrase. Example: “Hair Salon Newport Beach, CA.”
2. Do create listings in local directories. When your business is listed in a variety of directories across the Internet, it increases your web presence and boosts your rankings. If your business isn’t already listed, add it to local directories like Google Places, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, Merchant Circle, SuperPages, etc. The more places you’re listed, the more likely your potential customers are to find you.
3. Do use photos and videos. Uploading optimized photos and videos to your website as well as submitting them to social media websites like Pinterest and YouTube increase your online presence, build your backlinks and keep your brand in front of your customers’ eyes. People love photos and videos which means they’ll be more likely to share them with friends via social networking.
4. Do keep your content fresh. Make sure once your local directory listings are live, that you keep going back to update the content. Keep your website content fresh as well in order to encourage search engines to keep stopping back to index your site. Search engines are looking for relevancy, so if your content is fresh and interesting and people are sharing it with others, it appears relevant and you are rewarded with higher rankings.
5. Do ask your customers for reviews. Depending on what type of business you have, determine one or two review websites to concentrate your efforts on. Then ask your happy customers to share their experiences with others. Tell them exactly where they will be able to find your business on those websites so it’s quick and easy for them. More reviews equal higher rankings as well as help convince potential customers to use your products rather than your competitors.