Local Businesses Need Local SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for local businesses (Local SEO) is very different from SEO for national companies. The good news is that local companies have far fewer competitors (as a rule) vs. national companies or websites, so in that sense Local SEO is easier. On the other hand, it’s also somewhat more complicated because the options are different and more varied.
As you can see in the image to the right (click it for a larger size), Google Search Results are shown in different ways. At the top are Google Ads that come from Google’s Adwords PPC service.
Next down the list ae the “Google Places” results, now called “Google Business Profile”. This is Google’s way of displaying local results when a city name is included as part of the search phrase. That makes it very important for local businesses.
Below these results are normal “organic SEO” results.
Optimizing Your Google Business Profile
In some ways, optimizing a website for a local business (Local SEO) is more complicated than optimizing a site for a national market, because many searches will include location information (town, city, sometimes an area or region such as “Bay Area”) in addition to other “functional” search terms such as “chinese restaurant” or “dentist”, and cellphone searches may well add “near me”, such as “dentist near me”. There are different ways to target these different types of searches.
Formerly called “Google My Business” your Google Business Profile now integrates with Google Maps to provide the Google solution for local business search. Yahoo, and MSN’s Bing work in a similar way. How high your site will come up for an appropriate search depends on 4 different factors:
- Google Plus page, completely filled out with all info and photos as a minimum
- Number of reviews posted on your Google Plus Page
- Overall “domain authority” (SEO worthiness) of your website
- Consistent presence on 40+ business directories, called “citations” (somewhat less important now that in previous years)
We can make sure your site is properly set up on your Google Business Profile (or set one up for you initially), submitted to the appropriate citations directories in the correct way, and we can also help you to accumulate positive reviews on your Google Business Profile. This is especially crucial for retail stores, restaurants, professionals, and local service businesses. We currently provide these Local SEO services to many of our local Bay Area clients.
Organic SEO for Local Businesses
A properly optimized Google Business Profile can provide very good traffic to a local business, especially if your website is already positioned among the top 3. However, that sometimes is only effective for the city where you have a physical location and address. Your GBP can also be set up to tell Google that you do business at your customers’ location, which applies to many business types, such as a roofer, gardener, or janitorial service.
Many local businesses target consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B) in other towns near the one where they’re located. Google now also provides for adding up to 20 locations for this type of business. Other popular forms of local digital marketing include PPC Advertising such as Google Adwords or organic SEO to maximize results from your Google search results. But there’s a twist.
City Landing Pages, aka Service Area Pages
The key to using this type of SEO is once again related to the way people search. For example, common searches often use with phrases like “cupertino dentist” or “Mexican restaurant in Mountain View”. We can optimize pages for such searches by building one or more “City Landing Pages” on your site, often one for each city where your prospective customers/clients/patients are located. These pages focus on the specific town and the products or services you offer. With a little creativity and effort we can achieve excellent results for most local businesses using this technique. Some of our customers use this method for literally dozens of cities or towns in the Bay Area, with excellent results.
As with many forms of marketing, a combination of solutions can be an excellent strategy and usually brings the best overall results.
For a FREE SEO Analysis of your site – call us at 925-417-7040
We love helping businesses to understand this thing called “SEO”. Just call and say “I’m interested in your FREE SEO analysis”. There’s absolutely no cost and no commitment. We’ll ask you a couple of simple questions and then send you detailed info. No hassles – guaranteed!
You’ll learn a LOT about why your website is not bringing you as many new clients, customers, or patients as you’d like – and what you can do about it. It’s quick and it’s FREE.
Call 925-417-7040 now before you forget. It could be the start of great things for your business.
Or, if you would like to get started or if you have any questions (there are no silly questions), simply email us or call us at 925-417-7040. We’ll do our best to explain in non-technical terms you can relate to.
Serving Businesses in Castro Valley, Concord, Danville, Dublin, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Modesto, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Ramon, Stockton, Tracy, Walnut Creek, the East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, and Nationwide.