Do you run a local business and want to get only the local clients from your website?
Yes, it is possible. You can put the emphasis on local search engine marketing to provide you the required support.
For long this had been a great problem for websites of small business owners. A lot of them used to get more global visitors than the local. The conversion rate had been to poor and so was sale. You must remember that a website is not about a few pages. And if you want to run an eCommerce site, you need to invest a lot on providing backend support.
Even if you outsource your SEO and other promotional and backend support jobs to a third party for lesser amount, the wastage had always been huge. The best solution for optimum use of your money is to put emphasis on local search engine marketing.
What is local search engine marketing?
Before going to the point of local search engine marketing, let us find out what is local search. You can call it an extended and modified version of Yellow Pages where a visitor can search for local service providers.
Major search engines like Google (maps), Yahoo, MSN and Ask are now allowing visitors to search for local services or products in the locality. They can also modify the search in respect to location (Zip code, area, state etc). In fact some of the major search engines are also providing a solution to physically locate the provider in a map to make life easier for the visitor.
And the recent trend shows that local search is getting more and more popular.
So, how to optimize to improve search engine rank for local clients?
- You must follow the normal search engine optimization guidelines like proper keyword research, quality content with proper keyword positioning, good navigation etc. However, put proper emphasis on the location while writing the content or optimizing the page. For example, if your target keyword is SEO and you want to target the local Florida or Ft Lauderdale market, you can write Florida Ft Lauderdale SEO in the body copy, H1 tags, title, Meta etc. You can create different pages for different locations.
- Do not forget to host your website in a local server and book a country specific domain (e.g. co.uk if you are from UK).
- Add your business listing to different search engine directories. For example go to maps.Google.com and click on “add or edit your business” and then fill up all the required information. You need to follow almost similar process to get listed in other search engines like Yahoo (listings.local.yahoo.com), MSN (maps.live.com) and Ask. Most of them are free and do not forget to link to your website.
- Get links from local directories and portals.
- While getting link from others, try to use the location name with the keyword as the anchor text.
- Participate in local forum discussions and get links from the signature.
- The best way to get some local links is to donate some amount to local charitable trust and in return get a link from their website.
- Do not forget to mention your detailed address in the contact page or the home page. You can also integrate a Google map in that page to point out the exact location of your office.
- Point some of your outgoing links towards some authoritative local websites. This may help you to create a local environment for your website and may send similar signals to search engines.
Do not forget to include your friends and family members to promote the website. If search engines find out that a website is being downloaded from a distinct location like Florida or Ft Lauderdale, and if these are the phrases you are highlighting in your content, it would surely help your site rank better in search engine for local visitors.