7 Local SEO Tips for Entrepreneurs

Written by Mike

Topics: Business, Websites

Localization is the art of styling a website so that it appears relevant for a certain location. Webmasters already control elements of a page in an effort to appear for certain terms, localization applies those concepts to geographic locations. Using some special coding techniques and some off-site SEO work, you can achieve remarkable results within your own community. 

Read on for tips on building local traffic from Google:

Claim a Places Page

Google +, the social network for your Gmail account, is also related to Google’s local arm. By claiming your business’ Places page, you can verify your address and take advantage of services that track how your business performs on a local level. When you claim a places page, you verify your ownership and can respond to reviews about your business. This is great first step for local SEO.

Get Citations

Citations are like directory listings for your business, but they are with prominent directories. Places like your chamber of commerce, or popular directories in your city are important places to establish yourself. Citysearch and others are also popular directories that you can list yourself in. Some of these directories are high quality, and will require you to notify the site administrator that you want to be included. In these cases, state your website’s intentions up front and be sure that newbies can tell what your page is for when they look at it the first time.

Use Check-In Services

Check-in services like Foursquare and Facebook places provide some geographical data about your users and verify that they visited your location. Yelp check-ins, for instance, add a powerful element to reviews that verifies a user was actually at your location. You can also use check-ins as a promotional tool, awarding your most loyal fans with discounts on the products they purchase.

Promote Your Location

Bloggers at 29 Prime recommend promoting your business based on location because it can narrow down the competition. The longer-tail your keyword targets, the smaller your competitive base. You can pull traffic from many smaller search terms that are less trafficked, while still targeting the bigger volume words. Since many searches already have some element of location in them, you have a better chance of getting a pageview from someone who is actively shopping for what you’re selling.

Domain Registry

How you register your domain can affect your location data, so change your WHOIS registry information as needed. If you are incorporated outside of the state you do business in, but you want to promote your physical location, you may have some issues. Update your WHOIS information so that it points to the physical address you want to promote. Remember that consistency is key, so all of the places a customer can see your address should contain the same contact information.

Subdomains

A subdomain can be appended to a domain to add more contextually important terms to a domain. This is how Craigslist maintains its domain name while servicing different states or cities. You can search “LosAngeles.Craigslist.org” or “SanFrancisco.Craigslist.org” and find totally different results depending on those locations. Subdomains can also add some context to your website, which is great for professionals who may have many skills. An engineer who also practices technical writing can have a subdomain for each on his website.

Coding Tips

If you’ve never heard of Schema, the language is akin to HTML and it is designed for search engines to interpret. Schema takes information that already exists on your page and provides some context, like defining the hours of a store or the physical address of a location. Coding your website with Schema will identify certain elements as applicable to a search engine, which may display some or all of that information to users browsing for answers.

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