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Local SEO Basics- How to Prime Your Business for Local Search

Business owners are always working to achieve their next goal and searching for the perfect strategy to get there. Unfortunately, all too often in this process, search engine optimization (SEO) can be overlooked or even forgotten. SEO is the backbone to any marketing campaign, and to neglect it for any reason will inevitably hurt your business.

Less than 25 percent of search engine users go past the first page of a Google search. If you’re not paying attention, you might not rank high enough in SEO to even make the first page. Here are some SEO maintenance tips you can integrate into that perfect strategy, making it that much better.

Blog consistently

One of the best ways to improve your website’s SEO is by blogging regularly. Blogs are like episodes of a television show. To keep viewers tuning into the show, the producer needs to create regularly scheduled episodes. If the show takes a long hiatus, viewers will likely lose interest by the time it re-turns.

A blog is no different. Once a business finds its target audience, it is important to cater to them on a regular basis, keeping their interest. In terms of improving your SEO, regular blog posts filled with relevant content means more page indexes on a Google search archive. Each blog post means one more opportunity for a potential customer to find your website.

Create a clear URL structure:

Readability and relevance are two major considerations when choosing a URL. A readable URL allows a visitor to know exactly what type of product or service they are clicking on before arriving at your home page. It also encourages new visitors to your website and is important to the Google SEO algorithm. If a human cannot read your URL, then neither can a computer, therefore it will not rank as high on a Google search. Readability goes hand-in-hand with relevance. Important keywords in your URL will yield a higher search result than non-specific URLs that do not contain the keyword the user was searching for to begin with.

Choose your keywords carefully

A common pitfall in improving SEO is not selecting the right keywords. Consider the popularity of the keyword and its relevance to the services you offer, as well as the audience you plan to reach. There are a number of free and premium tools to help you assess which keywords are popular with your tar-get audience.

Utilize Google+ local listings & online reviews

Google+ local listings serve as a geographic representation of your business on a map in relation to your competitors. They will almost certainly get you to page one because local listings are displayed first in a Google search.

To make the most of your Google+ local listing, be thorough. Include an address for your business so it can be found easily via GPS. List one contact number, which should be the same as the one on your home page. Include facilities offered, hours of operation, etc. as a complete local business profile will rank higher in Google searches than partial profiles.

Also, a customer using Google Maps will be more likely to click on a business that has positive reviews. Customer feedback is incredibly valuable in making your business stand out against competitors.

Recognize the power of local links

Make a deep search of relevant local community organizations and companies and interact with them to earn some .org or .edu links which are of high value. These organizations can be:

•  Local chamber of commerce
•  Nonprofit organizations
•  Media organizations
•  Service providers
•  Educational institutions
•  Charities

There are many factors involved in creating a website that will drive your business successfully into the future. SEO is definitely at the top of that list. It is often said that you only have eight seconds online to grab a potential client’s attention. It takes longer than that to scroll to the bottom of the first page of a Google search, so not only do you want to be on the first page, you want to be at the top of it.

Adam Binder
Founder, Creative Click Media
Twitter: @creativeclicknj

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