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For smaller, more localized companies, Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be an extremely powerful tool to boost business. Think about it like a local village pin-board or local paper. These mediums are pretty outdated, but ten/twenty years ago they would have been your route to promoting and marketing your business in your local area.

In the 21st century, the Internet is your village pin-board and Local SEO is the tool with which to get your name displayed on it, loud and clear. Local SEO differs to ‘normal,’ wider SEO as it works to get your website ranking highly in your particular region, rather than out there in the big wide web. This gives your business much more of a fighting chance of getting up there on the search engines and attracting the right attention.

If you’ll excuse the aquatic metaphor; in your local Internet pond there are far fewer fish to compete with, meanwhile, out in the great big ocean of the World Wide Web, there are huge, global sharks with massive online marketing budgets to spend. By using Local SEO techniques, you ensure that you get noticed by the people who matter to your business: local residents. Not only does this mean that you are seen by those who are most likely to require your services, it also gives you a much better chance of ranking highly.

If you’re a small business with big online plans, Local SEO can also be a great first step into online marketing. Using Local SEO you’re more likely to see results faster, which can bring you the traffic, attention and income to help you expand further later.

Here are 3 Local SEO techniques to get you started, which can be used to market your business online in your area:

Google Places

Google Places can be used as a fantastic Local SEO technique which can get your website ranking right at the top of Google very quickly. Essentially, when a searcher enters a search term that includes a place name, Google may display a map with pinpoints highlighting local websites which match the term, right at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

This sounds easy, but it can take some work to ensure your business is included in these local listings. Your SEO company will need to get you listed if you’re not already and ensure that all websites listing your business’s details contain the same information. Another good step is to help your site look locally relevant by boosting content, reviews and local links (see localized link building below).

Localized Keywords

Keywords are all important. Investing in some good keyword research will help you discover what people in your region are searching for which will allow you to optimize your website with these searched for words and phrases. For example, if you were the owner of a small photography business that service a particular location, you are not likely to rank for “photographer” (i.e. the word on its own) in the grand scheme of things. Yet, do your research and you may find that “photographer [location]” or “portrait photography [location]” are popular and much less competitive.

When searchers hunt for services anecdotally, they often search for keywords composed of: “service” + “location” – optimize your site with the right terms and you’re likely to benefit from increased levels of local traffic. One downside, however, is that these keywords are pretty unnatural and difficult to weave into your website text. Simply inserting your location throughout your website’s copy may have some impact, but the talents of a skilled SEO copywriter can help you get those essential keywords in, without sacrificing the quality of your content.

Localized Link Building

Using your lovely local keywords you can also start using Local SEO to begin localized link building. By getting links from local blogs, directories and websites, you should start to appear higher for local searches. You may find that opportunities for localized link building are finite or a little bit limited, which is why it is essential to team this type of strategy with a strong Google Places listing.

Article by Steve P. Morgan. If you’re still wondering about Local SEO or would like to learn more about how it can help your business, Liberty Marketing can help. As an SEO agency in Cardiff, we offer our clients – both locally and nationally – a Google Places optimization service, helping their listings to perform the best they can in Google’s SERPs.

3 Responses to “3 Local SEO Techniques for Small Local Businesses

    I am currently carrying out SEO on a new website, the company installs solar panels which is obviously a company that would benefit from local business!
    This article has been very useful, I will be sure to use Goggle Places and the local link building comments highlighted a different avenue I could take with regards to link strategy.

    May 31, 2012

    Nice tips Steve. There are also several dozen local directories in addition to Google Places that helps your SEO rankings.

    June 1, 2012

    Local SEO is such an underutilized part of local business’ and it can be so easy to do too. I have written a few articles on this subject and Claiming Google Places is free from us, I cant believe how many firms are actually charging for that! haha Thanks for the post I actually learned a little bit about local linking.

    June 12, 2012

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