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Local Search 101: Understanding Local SEO

by Sarah Carter

Nowadays, when consumers want to find information about a business in their local area, they turn to the Internet. The use of the Yellow Pages to find local businessinformation is in rapid decline, which is why businesses are now competing for the top spot on the first page of the search engine results. Local search is a way for businesses to market themselves online to consumers in their local area. If you have no understanding of local search and what it entails, you are in danger of letting your competition leave you in the dust.

What is local search?

Local search is any activity that is targeted toward finding information about a local business using a search platform. A search platform could be anything from a searchengine like Google, to an Internet yellow pages Website like Superpages.com.

Local SEO basics:

Currently, Google is the most widely-used search engine for local search. The Google Maps show consumers a wide variety of information including driving directions, contact information, a business description and a “click to call” option for mobile devices. Getting found in the Google Maps is a great starting point for any business that hasn’t started optimizing for local SEO.

90% of consumers start purchase decisions online. This is why making sure your business is found online is so important. The beauty of local Internet marketing is that you don’t need to have a Website in order to get found online. With a business listing, your company can get found in the Google Maps and Places results, which will give potential customers the necessary information they need to contact you.

The first step in getting found in the search engines is to submit your business information to various local search directories. The most popular one is Google Places. In fact, unless your business is new, odds are you’re already listed in Google Places. But just because you’re listed doesn’t mean you’re all set. You need to claim, update and enhance your listing’s information in order to really get a leg up on the competition.

Many unclaimed listings have incorrect or outdated information that could be confusing to your customers as well as hurt your rankings in the search engines. This is why claiming your listing is so important. Claiming your listing also gives you the opportunity to optimize it for local search. Using relevant keywords and categories in your listing as well as providing as much information as possible to make your listing complete will help boost your local SEO and get you ahead of your competitors in the Map results. Adding enhancements like photos, videos, coupons and more helps increase your ranking and makes your customer’s local search experience more pleasant.

Once you’ve claimed your listing in Google Places, start submitting your business information to other top local directories such as Superpages.com, Merchant Circle, Yelp and more. One way to figure out which directories are the best is to perform a search on Google yourself. Think of a search term that you would like to appear on thesearch results for. Look at the local businesses that pop up in the results. These are your competitors. Make a note of where their listings are coming from. If you’re seeing results coming from Yelp, you’ll know that’s a directory you definitely need to submit your information to.

The advantages of local search

There are many advantages to local search that other marketing channels can’t provide. Here are the top reasons why you should start your local search campaign today.

Local search allows potential customers in your local area to find your business onlineand via mobile devices. More people will be able to see your business information, which will lead to increased sales and profits.

Your business can be found on the first page of search results (if you use the best practices and techniques).

Local search allows smaller businesses to compete with national chains and franchises with large marketing budgets. The best part is that it’s common for smaller businesses to appear above the larger chains in the local search results.

Local search is more cost-effective than print advertising, Yellow Page ads or radio and TV advertising. You don’t even need to pay large sums for a Website, local search requires off-Website SEO, which means even without a Website, you can achieve high rankings with your business listing. If you have the time and knowledge, an effective local search campaign can be done for free.

Local business listings validate the credibility of your business. Many local directories allow reviews, which gives your happy customers a chance to tell others what they think of your business. You can also lure new customers in with photos, videos, coupons and more.

In order to succeed in your local SEO efforts, make sure you fully understand how to optimize your listings. Include keywords and make your content persuasive with the goal of moving the sales process forward. Also remember that reporting and analyzing your results will help you figure out what is working and what is not in your local Internet marketing campaign. Keeping up on the changing Google algorithms requires constant education, but with hard work and effort, you will be able to get your business to the first page of the search engines and stay there.

About the Author

Top local SEO service provider, Local Splash is part of Relevant Ads, Inc., and is headquartered in Santa Ana, California. Its proprietary technology and process secure high local search engine placement for local businesses and national chains with a local presence. To learn more about Local Splash and its local SEO services, visithttp://www.localsplash.com.

Twitter Marketing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Efforts

by Grover Walter

Twitter has rapidly become one of the most popular online marketing tools to promote products and website. It can be used to communicate with your clients and prospects and create brand recognition. People who join Twitter are seeking a wide variety of ideas, information and solutions. This is an opportunity for you to leverage it and get targeted traffic to your site. If you treat your Twitter followers well by providing them with content they can use, they will come to trust you. The more helpful you are, the more successful you will be. But if you use Twitter the wrong way, you might end up hurting your business more than gaining from it. In this article we will be discussing a few Twitter mistakes that can kill your marketing campaign.

As you interact with your followers, it would be a mistake to become personal with them. It’s not good business practice to reveal too much about your personal life, and there’s a possibility that they don’t care about it. Also, probably much like you – people will only read those things they deem to be important to them. You’ll become ignored pretty quickly if people start thinking of you in terms of something they don’t want to read. So the thing to do is post good content that may help them in some way. You can train or condition them to have a natural interest in your thoughts and posts. If you succeed in doing this, then you’re there – people will begin showing up at your site and interacting with you. One other thing, always have accurate information on your profile. Some Twitter marketers like to put their logos on their profiles, that’s not a bad idea but it could come across a little dry and boring to others. A lot of users won’t follow profiles with no real pic. In this instance, you may consider using a pen name.

Your style on Twitter should be more casual than serious. Twitter users like to keep their conversations lighthearted, fun and sociable. These people are looking for excitement and entertainment. If your messages are dull and corporate sounding, your followers won’t be interested. Insert some originality and humor into your tweets. You have to be able to speak the language your followers understand if you want to reach them. As people come to appreciate your tweets, your trust and credibility will rise.

Ok, before you go out to build a list of followers, take some time and post good content.

People don’t always want to follow someone who has absolutely nothing to offer, do try to remember that. Have some patience with the process because it just takes time to build a good list of followers. One approach is to retweet content from experts in your market. Don’t forget you can make replies to those who have an audience, and that will help your exposure. It’ll take a little practice and patience because it takes time to do this right. You’ll have your mistakes, but then so does everyone else. So all of these mistakes are not complex, but they’ll be a problem for you if you make them. Also, your reputation online matters a lot, and that’s really true at Twitter. Always try to learn from your mistakes and keep pressing forward.

About the Author

Grover Walter is a freelance contributor for TheForexRobotnews.com For more articles by Grover, please visit these links: forex cape town and Ichimoku

Rank Your Local Business Website Fast With Local Business listings

by Wolfgang Bloomfield

How does a local business directory listing, help your local business website to rank fast in Google, and the other main search engines? This and many more similar questions will be answered in this article, so you will need to read it in its entirety.

Local Internet marketing has changed recently since it has become clear that Google and the other main search engines have changed search results to favour local business, by presenting local results first.

This presents a golden opportunity for the wise business owner, who acts fast before his competitors, and lists his business in Google places, giving him a chance to get his business onto the first page of Google.

Having said that, let’s not forget to also list your local business in the free business directories and let´s make a listing in as many as possible, the more the merrier.

The more business directories that you list your local business with, the greater the exposure for your business, and it´s free exposure too.

To take full advantage of this you should link your local listing to your local business website, if you haven’t got one, then you need to get one fast, as local internet marketing is changing as the days go by.

Most businesses are not prepared for these major changes that are happening, and your business can take advantage of this information, but I cannot stress the importance of this enough, you have the chance to dominate your local area in your trade or service, so act fast.

Your Local listings in Google places and business directories as well as your website should be well optimised for the search engines as well as your prospective visitors, don’t forget these local visitors are targeted traffic who are looking for your local business or service and up to 60% of them are likely to buy from you.

Not only do you have to optimise your listings and website, you also have to make your listing as complete as possible, giving as much information as you can, and use photos and videos where possible, to get the most that you can out of them.

This is very time consuming work, but it’s worth the effort (or money spent getting a professional to do it for you), you will be rewarded for your efforts, with more sales and profit for your business, but you will need to do this properly.

When this work is completed, provided that it is done correctly, you will soon see the benefits of it in your rankings of your local website (as long as you make sure that your full business address and post code is on it) you should see that not only do your local listings show up on the first page, one after the other, but also your website should also show up there as well.

It doesn’t take long for the search engines to get the idea that your local listing and your local business website are closely related, usually only a day or two.

By now I think that you should have a good understanding of how you can rank your local business website fast by using Google Places and local business listings in the free business directories, even if you are not sure how to do this yourself yet.

If you feel that this article has been helpful to you please feel free to comment on it, and share it with others who may also find it interesting.

To your Success,

Wolfgang Bloomfield

About the Author

Wolfgang Bloomfield is a full time internet marketer, and he has studied SEO in detail, as this is what makes or breaks any business that is using the Internet. Find out more how he can help to get your local business listed on the first page of Google by visiting his website.
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