The key(s) to success in local SEO

Something about the summer gets me thinking about the concept of local. Maybe it’s the buying roadside corn or visiting mom-and-pop general stores on the way to the cottage. But this time of year just feels like the right time to talk about local SEO, doesn’t it?

Making your website a force in local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves often following different parameters than you do for general  and/or global SEO. Specific details like your physical address are extremely important. You’re not directing customers to a “store locator” or one of 50 locations. You’re telling them exactly where to find you.

Think about the importance of marketing a local business offline. You’d better give the right directions, list the right phone number, and generate positive word of mouth. Principles like those apply to web development for local SEO. Keep those in mind when remembering these general tips to follow:

1. Make sure your actual listing is thorough and accurate. With local listings, you can’t afford to be remotely wrong. Double and triple-check your address, including your postal code, and your phone number.

2. Make your presence felt on local listing sites. That goes beyond appearing in the Yellow Pages. Google Places, for example, is a key site for your local efforts. Not only will more people stumble upon you, the listing itself will also make your site more relevant to local searches according to search-engine algorithims and improve your PageRank.

3. Include relevant keywords and specifics about your product or service in your company name listing whenever possible. You can’t make your listing a million words long but be specific whenever you can. A listing like “MarketFresh health foods and organics” does much more for you than simply “MarketFresh.” If you’re a moving company, include the word “moving” in your company name.  If you’re a Moving Company in North York, it would be ideal to include both your service (moving) and service area (North York).  It’s about being relevant.

4. Reviews matter – and quantity over quality. More important than positive reviews is just reviews, period. Which business listing connotes an authoritative and popular company: one with five glowing reviews or one with 80 reviews, 60 of which are positive and 20 of which are negative? It’s clearly the latter.

5. Embrace the “localness” of your listing. If you truly specialize in Toronto web copwriting, for example, say so in your listing. You’ll appeal more to the actual market you covet. Also, avoid 800 numbers or any other details that come across as cold, corporate, and non-local.

The ranking of your business, service or product in Google’s search results is critical to your success. Toronto-based content and website copywriting expert Ray Litvak understands the art and science of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and using the right words in the right way to increase your rankings. Discover how greater exposure on Google can drive more traffic, increase leads and grow your business. Many of Ray’s clients consistently rank on Google’s first page of results and have grown their business as a result. You can do it too – and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Call Ray locally at 416-226-8676 for a free assessment of your specific needs today. You’ll be glad you did!