local search marketingBusinesses want to dominate their local market and win more customers than their competition.  With users increasingly turning to the web to scout out the hottest businesses in their neighborhoods, a strong local search marketing strategy has never been more important. If yours could use an update, the 10 true-and-tried localized SEO tips below are a great place to start.

1. Find Your Baseline
SEO is all about results, and you can’t accurately measure yours unless you know where you stand today. Running a simple name search through Google, Bing and Yahoo should give you a clear picture of where you’re ahead of the pack and where you’re falling short.

2. Cover the Basics
Is your domain name geared toward locals? Is the address on your website accurate? It’s tempting to put web development on the back burner when you’re busy running a business. But we see too many websites with outdated information including their address.  If you haven’t done a full analysis in recent memory, now is the perfect time to get back in the game.

3. Boost Your Visibility
From your list of services to your blog, every page connected to your business should be optimized with local SEO. Keywords and contact information can be easily hidden at the top or bottom of each page without disrupting its flow. Here a quick list of 10-on-page SEO tips.

4. Listen to Your Audience
By nature, local search marketing needs to be far more specific than globalized SEO. Before you can optimize your website, you need to know what words and phrases people are searching for in your target area. For an up-to-date list of SEO keywords, look to reliable tracking tools like Google AdWords.

5. Get Listed
Popular online directories like Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages and Foursquare are guaranteed traffic boosters. If your business already pops up in their databases, make sure all of the information is correct. Since some use automatic crawlers, it can be outdated or straight up wrong.

6. Share What Makes You Special
Once your listings are up and running, flesh out your profiles wherever possible with updates, pictures, videos and comments. People love supporting local businesses that value their customers. The more time you put into reaching out, the more you’ll get back in both web and foot traffic.

7. Spread the Links
Speaking of sharing, don’t forget to share your links on social media, local business associations and anywhere else with clout. Search engines prioritize results that get a lot of attention from other websites, especially when they’re highly ranked themselves.

8. Encourage Reviews
Reviews give your business credibility and visibility. While you don’t want to harass your customers for feedback, there’s nothing wrong with a friendly, one-time reminder. When you get that inevitable bad review, don’t panic. Simple acknowledge the reviewer in hope that a resolution was reached.   However, all your positive reviews reverses most – if not all – the damage.

9. Pitch the Local Media
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting locally oriented online newspapers, magazines and blogs. With the right angle – think your commitment to local charities, involvement in the community or a unique selection of services – getting published might be easier than you think.

10. Stay Mobile
With mobile phones now making up a large chunk of local searches and Google giving priority to mobile-friendly pages, focusing on computers alone is a big mistake. To generate as much traffic as possible, you want to make sure that your website is optimized for every type of screen. If your website is more than 4 years old, this might need immediate attention.

Keep in mind that algorithms and search habits change all the time. Once you get your website optimized for local SEO, make revisiting the tips above a part of your regular marketing schedule to avoid falling behind.

Design 4 Dot Com, Inc. has been helping companies stay ahead of their competition for over 15 years.  What comes second nature to us might be an insurmountable task to some.  We would love to help you with your local search engine marketing.  We do offer a free website audit.  Simply fill out the form and get the dialogue started  Don’t worry, we’ll give you the good, bad and the ugly about your website.

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