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Search Engine Ranking – 5 Local SEO Strategies to Grow Your Business by digitalsynergy

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									Search Engine Ranking – 5 Local SEO
Strategies to Grow Your Business
By: Martin Armstrong



                                                When it comes to search engine ranking, good use of
                                                keywords is essential. In addition to including content
                                                that draws customers, your business website also needs
                                                to grab the attention of search engines for your top
                                                keywords. One of the best ways to do this is by including
                                                local SEO as part of your overall search optimization
                                                strategy. Local SEO involves targeting users who are
                                                searching for a regional source of the products and
                                                services your business offers.


                                                1) Expand Your Keyword List
                                                  Your current business SEO strategy should already
include a list of relevant keywords. But in order to reap the benefits of local SEO, you need to add a few
phrases to that list. For example, if you run a coffee shop that serves pastries and lunch items, your
keyword list might include the words “coffee shop” and “light fare.” Adding a reference to the city or
town where your business is located makes these keywords locally relevant and helps improve search
engine ranking. For a coffee shop in Albany, NY, your keywords might become, “Albany coffee shop” and
“light fare in Albany, NY.”


2) Use Relevant Link Text
Don’t just add local keywords to your site content; use them in your links as well. When you use local
keywords as anchor text for your inbound page links, you verify for search engines that your business is
operating in a specific area. As search engines crawl your site, they’ll “see” where you are and include
that information as part of your page rank for the keywords you use.


3) Prominently Display Contact Information
How will people find your business or contact you with questions if your company name, address and
phone number aren’t easy to find on your website? Avoid this problem by displaying all pertinent
contact information on each page. Place this information where visitors can see it the moment they
arrive and so that it remains visible as they click around the site. Repeating your company name and
location within the content of your website can increase search engine ranking, especially for localized
searches.


4) Take Advantage of Business Directories
Local business directories get your business name and information “out there” on the Internet in places
other than your website. Google Places, Facebook Places, Yelp, YellowPages, Yahoo Local and Bing Local
all let you list your business for free along with your contact information. Some advantages of being
listed:
• Building trust and credibility through sites your customers are already using
• Increased brand visibility when directory listings show up in local search results
• Embedded maps show the exact physical location of your business
• Interactive “check in” options broadcast your business location to a varied network of potential
customers

Setting up a listing only takes a few minutes, and the benefits are well worth the time. Once you have a
presence on these sites, visitors will be able to locate your business quickly and easily. Many sites also
allow people to rate their experiences and post reviews of places they’ve visited. Peer opinion is one of
the most important influences when it comes to consumer decisions, so these reviews can be an
invaluable asset to your business.

5) Be Visible Socially
Social media is like free advertising and can be a big part of your search engine ranking strategy if you
play it right. Chances are that your customers are already active on Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis.
Being able to find your business and interact with others who enjoy your products and services makes
customers feel that they are part of the brand experience.

Most social media sites also provide apps so mobile users can interact on the go. This is especially
important when it comes to marketing locally. Having mobile users mention your business while they’re
there, be it through a “check in” or a status update that includes a link to your Facebook page, brings
instant visibility to their entire network of social media contacts. With the growing influence of social
search, this can in turn increase your search engine ranking.

From mobile “check-ins” to user-generated reviews, a focus on local SEO can greatly benefit your
business. The more efficiently you utilize local keywords, the better your search engine ranking will be.
By targeting a local audience, you can use your business website to bring more customers to your
physical location, thereby increasing brand visibility and the potential for future sales.

								
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