What Should You Be Doing for Local SEO?

 In Blog, iPartnerMedia Inc
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In today’s online world, Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is everything. Without it, you will never rise to the top of today’s search engines, and it’s a dog-eat-dog Internet. If you don’t fall onto the first page of your local keyword relevant searches, you might as well be marooned on an island. Why? Because your web traffic will be just as busy.

Getting noticed isn’t easy. SEO requires several steps not only to initiate, but to maintain as well. That’s why iPartnerMedia has put together a step-by-step walkthrough on how to set up a fast track to getting noticed. Our cheat sheet includes four essential SEO processes that are a must when carving out an online presence. Yet all of them are possible to do yourself. It simply takes time and a dedicated effort to maintain what you build.

Ready to get started?

Local SEO Tip #1: Going Places… with Google Places

It may seem like common sense to say ranking in Google starts with Google. Yet there are too many businesses today who have yet to create or claim one of the engine’s most basic features: Google Places. This geolocation page quite literally puts your business on the map.

Click here to learn the difference between Google Places and Google+
A virtual version of a “yellow pages” listing, Google Places allows individuals searching in your area to locate your business address and contact information. It’s free to setup and crucial to maintain. In fact, Google has now combined Google Places with Google+ via their new Google My Business portal.

”Wow, that’s a lot of Google!”

We know, and it’s great! Trust us when we say the process is easier now than ever before. Simply follow these 7 steps:

  • Insert Your Address: Like any listing, it’s important to make sure that you not only submit your current address, but make sure you maintain it. That way you never lose prospects to outdated directions.
  • Add Your Website: This awesome backlinking feature will allow users to quickly locate and access your company website straight from your Google listing. Because Google favors these accounts, you are far more likely to reach the top of your local relevant searches.
  • Choose the Right Category for Your Business: Choosing the right business category will ensure you popup in the search engine listings whenever local users are searching with keywords relevant to your business, product, or service.
  • Add Pictures to Your Account: Do this consistently and often. The more photos and videos you add to your account, the higher Google will prioritize you against similar businesses with less content.
  • Include an Introductory Bio: Make sure you add “About Us” content that talks about your business, what it offers, and why it is unique. The more you flesh out Google’s content features, the better. You will want to refresh this content fairly regularly. This doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. Simply adding content or massaging a paragraph is enough to show that you’re actively maintaining the account. We suggest doing this about once a month.
  • Include Your Business Hours: Nothing is worse than looking up a business and then going to visit its location, only to discover they’re closed. Insert and maintain your business hours to eliminate this frustration that can lead to lost clients or sales.

Local SEO Tip #2: Get on Board with Social Media

If you still think social media is a waste of time, take a look at Google’s recent searches. Tweets and hashtags are becoming an integrated part of the online search algorithm, making these free accounts worth even more than ever before.

Plus, it’s a matter of credibility. Many individuals will search beyond your website and into social media forums to see what their peers are saying about you, and what you’re saying about yourself. That’s why it’s important to both have and maintain these accounts weekly. Here are 7 tips to get your started:

  • Create a Facebook Page Under the Proper Category: To do this, go to your personal account and from the right-hand drop down menu, select “Create Page.” When you do this, you will immediately encounter a series of questions to determine what category you want to fall under. Follow these steps and choose based on how your desired audience would describe you.
  • Include Your Contact Information: Facebook, like Google, also serves as a business listing. Include your physical address, phone number, business hours, website address, and a brief bio describing your business.
  • Be Active: Don’t just post often. Post consistently. A regular schedule will encourage your audience to come back for new content and updates.
  • Share New Content: Did you recently post a blog? Upload a video on YouTube? Maybe you discovered an adorable kitten meme that can’t possibly go unshared. Make sure you’re engaging your audience with new content, and not just bombarding them with sales pitches. When posting on your social media pages, ask yourself, “Why would my audience care?” This will help you stay on point with relevant content..
  • Create Notes: Notes are like Facebook’s version of a blog. It’s easy to share and great for backlinking to your website. Use them to share news, press releases, and even nods to new content, services, or products featured on your website. Backlinks are great for boosting SEO.
  • Create and Share Videos: Video content is leading as a form of media that generates interest, likes, and engagement. Create quality videos, upload them to YouTube, and don’t forget to share them on your social media!
  • Don’t Ignore Keywords and Hashtags: Utilize keyword rich descriptions and hashtags to make searching easier.

Local SEO Tip #3: Content is Still King

You’ve heard it before and it still rings true: Content is King. Whether it’s through blogs, social media posts, press releases, web pages, or tweets, keep generating it. Fresh, new, relevant content is the fastest way to scale your way up Google’s search rankings. Here are 3 points to keep in mind as you’re plugging out new words for the web:

  • Don’t Ignore Keywords and Hashtags: Utilize keyword rich descriptions and hashtags to make searching easier.
  • Keep Your Website Fresh: Creating and maintaining new content on your website is essential. The easiest way to do this is to create an active blog. Aim to post weekly if possible or monthly at minimum.
  • Submit Press Releases: You can submit press releases to more than just online and traditional publications. Lengthen your reach by sharing them on social media and your website as well. This versatile syndication of content will increase the odds of it being seen.

Local SEO Tip #4: Generate Reviews and Directories

Google reviews work two-fold for your business. First, in increases your SEO ranking. Second, it builds credibility for your business, which directly influences the decision of prospect clients and buyers. Below are four ways to make the most of online review features:

  • Ask for Google Reviews: At the end of every interaction with a client or customer, request that they leave a Google review on your Google Places listing. It’s a numbers game. The more you ask, the more likely you are to receive. Keep in mind that Google is particular about ensuring your reviews are legitimate. Don’t try posting fake reviews on your own behalf, as this is a quick way to have your listing flagged.
  • Respond to Reviews: Your feedback creates new content and shows that your business is vigilant in delivering a positive customer or client experience.
  • Create a Yelp Business Page:Yelp is one of the more popular business review sites available on the web. Extend the reach of your business’ web presence while giving search engines more pages to crawl by claiming your business on Yelp.
  • Expand into Other Local Directories: However, don’t limit yourself to one or two online listings. There are dozens of other directories on the world wide web. Get your business on as many as possible. Just make sure you keep these listings updated and accurate.

Need Help Establishing and Maintaining Local SEO?

If SEO feels like a full-time job, it means you’re doing it right. There’s a reason why countless businesses hire employees specifically for this task! If you don’t have the time, will, or resources to properly establish and maintain your local SEO, consider passing the baton on to the professionals.

iPartnerMedia works with a vast array of businesses, big and small. Simply give us a call at 239-449-4749 to talk to one of our SEO experts about how we can save you time and money building up your search engine exposure.

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