Over the past few years, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become one of the most popular methods of online marketing. This is the process of optimizing your web content to make sure search engines are finding your website and listing your local business information for web searchers.
One of the first and most important rules of SEO that all businesses should be aware of is that there is a difference between getting website traffic and getting the right website traffic. Any person surfing the internet can stumble upon your website, but in order to turn more web surfers into customers, you need to get the right type of local consumer to your site.
The internet is a massive place, and if local businesses want to make sure they are not only reaching customers, but reaching customers in their area, they have to implement ‘local SEO’ efforts. After all, an SEO campaign that attracts customers in Ontario to a local business located in Alberta, is not utilizing SEO as effectively as possible.
The logic behind this approach is actually quite simple. First, you should figure out what type of keywords your target audience would type into the search engine to find your business.
Next, you have to develop the right keywords to target the actual location of your business. Targeting a local market with keywords consists of adding your city to the front or back of your target keyword.
For example, instead of using the SEO keyword phrase “pediatric dentist” you can use the phrase “Spruce Grove pediatric dentist.” This way, you will only have to compete with other pediatric dentists in your home town, instead of every other pediatric dentist from around the globe.
This is why developing the right local keyword phrases is so important. Keep in mind, if you are looking to reach customers in an area with multiple small towns, or if you are a suburb of a large city, you should also use the names of neighboring cities in your optimization efforts.
There is more to a local SEO campaign than creating the right keyword phrases. If you over-saturate your online content with keywords, Google and most other search engines, will flag your website as spam, so keep the overall occurrence of these keywords to a low 3-4% of your overall content.
When creating local SEO content, it is also important that you add your keywords in a natural sounding way. Not only does this look better to the search engines, but it also looks better to your potential customers who will be reading this content.
Although Google is the top search engine, it’s not the only search engine. Therefore, be sure to put efforts into developing a strong presence on other top search engines such as Yahoo and Bing as well.