Ten Tips for Excellent SEO
1. Stake Your Profile Claim.
Simply logging into Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local. Then proceed through the verification steps, which include a phone call or postcard to verify your address. Easy peasy.
2. Picture That.
Local site listing services like to provide their users with pictures of your business. To help ensure that they see some solid pictures, upload your own. They don’t have to be professional photos, but they will represent your business so make sure they are good.
3. One Centralized Information Hub
A big part of local search optimization and marketing involves obtaining information from other sites. Local listing aggregation services search the internet far and wide to find pictures, reviews and any possible information on your company. Submit your info to services like Localeze & infoUSA. Just make sure that the information sources feeding into your website are credible, accurate and correct.
4. Review your reviews
Most local sites, except for Yelp, are fine with you telling your customers to review you. It’s wise to politely encourage your visitors to review the site. These reviews, good or bad, make your business more creditable to future customers. That being said, monitor the reviews. If they are mostly negative, changes to the website or business may need to be made.
5. Bad reviews. Not the end of the world.
No company is perfect, so when users see all positive reviews, they may become skeptical of your company. Bad reviews are a part of any business and a few bad reviews can make the good reviews that much better. Bad reviews are like dessert; everything in moderation.
6. Can I have your number?
On your website, be sure to publish your local phone number in text (instead of within an image or not at all). 800 numbers may be nice, but on their own they don’t indicate any particular location.
7. Location, location, location.
For websites, it is very important to verify your company by including physical address. Your address is important and it should be on all pages of your website to re-enforce your geographic location.
8. Put yourself in their digital shoes.
What would your customers put in a search box to find you and buy your products? Take a page out of the book of marketing research and think about what your customers want to buy or look for in a website and deliver the goods. Both popular keywords and important, but less frequently used buzzwords can have an equally powerful impact on elevating your business to the top in search engine optimization.
9. For each, his own.
Local sites don’t like a business having more than one local listing, but if the business has two locations, that’s okay. However, you should ensure that each location links back to a page on your website that is all about that location and what it has to offer. Sending both local listings back to the same page, or homepage comes off as lazy. We don’t want that.
10. Be customer care-full
Everyone knows that they need to treat customers’ right, but with social media, review sites and the ability for good, or bad, news to spread like wildfire, you need to treat your customers extremely well. This includes both online and offline customer service.
Local search takes into account information business owners put in their local profile, information it finds on other sites and information on the business’ website. Even what happens offline can be taken into consideration as customers may bring back those experiences in the form of online reviews. Treat customers the way you want to be treated and your worries will be a thing of the past.
Also published on Medium.