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January 1st is an amazing time of the year. For (at least) one day, everyone is vowing to be a better person. What’s in greater desperate need of getting fit, your waistline or your online presence and reputation? If the latter, then we put together this great overview of items for your 2013 strategy.
Consider these tips when trying to get fit with local SEO:
1. Research Keywords
Business owners should already know what key words trending for your particular industry. These are the words your current, or potential, clients are typing in to find your business. If you do not already have a list of key words you are tracking, this is a great place to start.
2. Include Local Information
If your business has multiple locations, make sure the different locations all have their specific information easily accessible. Each location should have its own individual local page. So each location should have it’s own Yelp, Google+ Local, Facebook page, etc. This allows your customers to interact with you on a local level. Research indicates a much higher level of engagement with local pages over corporate. Customers will know that their input and comments will be directed to the actual location they attend, not just to the general corporate page.
Although Google+ never took off like many may have suspected, the integration with Google Places to become Google+ Local makes it vital for your business to have an account. Google + is often one of the first results posted when someone searches for a business through Google’s search engine, so having a Google+ accounts automatically brings you up to one of the first results. Being listed on the first page vs. the second can make a huge difference. Google+ also allows you to interact with your consumers and lets them post reviews and pictures of your business.
Assuming that you already have some of the other popular social media website profiles, you should make sure all the information between them is consistent. Double check to make sure things like your address, phone number, and email are all the same to avoid any conflicts. Social media management can be key to improving your local SEO.
4. Claim Your Business
Claiming your business on customer review sites allows you the opportunity to respond and interact with your customers. If someone posts a negative review, you can message him or her back to see if there is anything you can do to improve the situation. You can also encourage your happy customers to go onto these websites and leave their own reviews. This type of review management can be great for your online reputation.
5. Landing Pages
For retailers with multiple locations, your traditional store locator doesn’t cover it today. With the massive adoption of local search on mobile phones, consumers are just using search and directory sites to find your stores. They are not going to your website and trying to use your store locator, especially if your site is not mobile friendly. Many of the store locators use things like Flash and other software, which are not mobile friendly as well. We still recommend store locators, but those results should be a highly optimized page designed for Local SEO to insure they show up at the top of search rankings and provide effective citations for each location.
Be mobile friendly. In the very near future, more local searches will occur on mobile phones than the desktop. If you are a local retailer and don’t have a mobile friendly site, consumers will turn elsewhere. With the huge penetration of smartphones and tablets, remove any instances of flash that may not work on some platforms. Insure customers can easily locate your retail store information. If a single business, put your phone number and address right on your home page.
7. Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
Just because you implement some of these tips for your own company, it doesn’t mean that you should just stop after that. Local SEO is a continuous process. Things are always changing so it is important to keep track and watch what you have been doing. Set up weekly or monthly checkup times to make sure all the information and tactics are relevant and working effectively.
Just like getting fit, improving your SEO takes time and an increased effort. But, if the correct effort is placed, it will be easier than you could have imagined. Add in these seven tips into your local SEO regimen and you will start to see results.