Guest Post by Emma Tomlinson
Major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are now more advanced and sophisticated. Their search algorithms have been developed to better cater to end-users.
One particular example is local search ranking. Imagine this: when you search for “Chinese restaurants”, you normally include a place along with the keyword to specify which location you want to find such establishments. Although this is the usual practice of browsers, this is really not necessary every time you search, especially since Google most likely knows where you are—don’t be scared of that fact.
So from the perspective of businessmen, it really means that we all have to target those customers who want geographically-specific results. Why? Because they are our biggest potential clients.
Why else would they search for “[keyword+place]” if they are not interested in the products or services offered?
This is REALLY big news for us entrepreneurs. It means that we have to cater to those “localised” queries if we want to stay on top of results pages.
If you need further convincing, here is what you need to know:
Local SEO …
Allows for an affordable access point into marketing
Although the use of the words “cheap” or “inexpensive” may be relative to your definition and mine, it cannot be denied that local SEO is cost-effective.
Now what does that even mean?
With other kinds of Internet marketing endeavours like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or banner advertisements, you are paying for each visitor to your site. But with this localised search engine optimisation, you only have to pay professionals to tweak, enhance, and promote your website. After that, you are basically getting free and unlimited traffic from search engines.
Gives leverage to smaller and younger businesses
One of the rigours of starting a business is the fact that you still have to introduce it to the industry. And if that particular industry is already dominated by world-renowned brands/companies, it can be quite intimidating to do so.
But not with local SEO. It allows you to level up with bigger and “older” companies simply by putting you in front of Internet surfers who are using search engines to browse for “local” products and services.
But first, how does Google, Bing, and Yahoo “find” your pages? Your keywords play a great role in this, specifically if they are relevant to a query. This is why it is ideal to use search terms and phrases that are specific and location-based.
Provides long-term marketing and advertising solutions
Building a reputation or familiarity with your customers is a tricky task, and more prominently so when you are just starting your enterprise.
But again, local SEO is the solution. It allows your domain to continuously appear on search results pages, provided of course that you are implementing clever optimisation techniques. And by being a constant on SERPs, you will be more familiar to Web users in your community.
Offers enhanced monitoring and tracking of results
Because of developments in Web analytics, it is now easier to monitor and track your SEO campaigns, including local ones. The best one that I can recommend is Google Analytics. This is a free service offered by the company that allows you to view near-accurate statistics about the visitors on your site, your bounce rate, and where your visitors came from.
Local SEO has immense contributions to your online marketing efforts. But apart from it, you should also keep your conventional optimisation methods updated.
About the Author: Emma Tomlinson is the Head of Retail at Smart Traffic, a UK-based specialist company concentrating on Search Engine Optimisation.