Google Local SEO

By Alex Bungener

As a small local business owner have you ever asked the question: if they search online, can they find my business? This is where Google local SEO comes into play. For the local business owner of today, it is not enough to possess astute business sense and acumen. This age of the internet has redefined how marketing a business is done. Print advertising and word-of-mouth may have worked to bring in customers and profits in the past but not now. Your potential clients and customers are searching for products and services in front of their laptops or mobile phones and are not asking their neighbors or friends today as they did years ago.
Just consider the following statistics:

• A whopping 97{f57cecc76329659856f00bd01f529e319bb36b58f42dc9ec00a8ea65b2ecec80} of consumers go online to search for products, services or businesses in their local areas.

• Of the 97{f57cecc76329659856f00bd01f529e319bb36b58f42dc9ec00a8ea65b2ecec80} who search for local businesses online, 90{f57cecc76329659856f00bd01f529e319bb36b58f42dc9ec00a8ea65b2ecec80} will look only on the first page of the Google results.

It is clear as daylight: your local business can only be found by consumers if it comes up on the very first page of Google in local searches. If your business is on page 2—or worse, 22— your local business will be lost to oblivion. How do you ensure that your local business gets into the very visible first page of Google local searches? This is by means of Google local search optimization or Google local SEO.
What is Google local SEO?

Google local SEO is simply optimizing the online presence of your business in such a way as to make it searchable and visible to online searchers (your potential clients). It is not that easy, however, and requires a number of different steps to make it happen. As you may have heard, Google is constantly changing the algorithm which determines which websites are displayed in the search results. These changes can be quite difficult to keep up with. Luckily with Google local SEO the changes aren’t as often as regular SEO and the costs to achieve the 1st page are definitely lower than an SEO campaign.

One basic element of Google local SEO is the use of the right search terms in your company website. The right search terms are the keywords or key phrases which most online searchers use in searching for your kind of business. But how do you know what terms are generally used in local searches?

Google’s keyword tool is a free online tool Google offers to everyone. It is an amazing tool which will give you general statistics on the popularity of every imaginable search term. Choosing the right local based keyword phrases and sneaking them into your website, landing pages, About Us pages, blog posts, titles and meta tags is one of the most important steps to getting on that ever elusive 1st page of the search engines. Google will then index your pages for those local search terms so that your site will be visible in local searches.

Another solid cornerstone of Google local SEO is the accurate and consistent listing of your business all across the web—in all search engines, business directories and other online listings. The name, address, contact numbers and email addresses of your business must be the same in all listings in order for your business to be deemed by Google as legitimate and relevant. If your local business is listed as being at one address and then listed at another address somewhere else, Google will consider your business questionable and less relevant and will not place your site on page 1 in local-based searches.
There are a number of other steps to take and manage for an effective Google local SEO campaign. It takes a lot of time, thought and technical know-how—things you could do yourself if you have the knowledge and time to give. We will be discussing the other steps in our blog over the next few months. If you would rather spend your time actually running your business instead of internet marketing then Digital+ is the Google local SEO partner for you. We have an impressive portfolio of local businesses, from HVAC to dance schools, which have profited much from our expertise.

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