5 Bedrocks of Good Local SEO in Q4, 2013

Red Map PinBy now, the mechanics of sound SEO on a global or at least national scale are well-understood by the majority of content marketers. As long as you deliver solid content that’s formatted properly and features sound link structure, there’s a good chance you’ll see results.

In the rush to capitalize on the worldwide potential of SEO, many forget about the local racket. The following areas are ones that you should focus on.

1. Google Authorship Markup

If you’re not using content to increase revenue by targeting local consumers, you’re doing your business a serious disservice. Local content marketing can be incredibly effective at improving overall SEO if you do it right and incorporate the right back-end tactics.

Google Authorship markup should be a key piece of your web publishing strategy so as to establish a dominant Internet presence for your SMB or brand.

2. Geo-Specific Keyword Usage

Keyword analysis and optimization are supposedly going by the wayside thanks to advanced Google algorithm updates that have made semantic search far more viable. In reality, unique local keywords can work wonders when it comes to making your content stand apart from the rest of the pack.

You can use local vernacular, geo-specific keywords and specialized query keywords and phrases to give your sites a boost in the local SERPs.

3. Proactive Listings Upkeep

Google and Bing really try to make local SEO as easy as possible for SMBs through their intelligent ranking and sorting algorithms. You can help them help you by using business listings aggregators like Localeze, Yext and Universal Business Listing to guarantee that your business data on the web is up-to-date and pertinent.

One can never be too careful when ensuring that online business listings data is accurate, thereby increasing the odds that your SMB ranks well in the search results.

4. Social Feedback & Interaction

Local SEO success depends greatly on social media and your interaction with a small but potentially profitable local consumer demographic. The emergence of Facebook Open Graph and similar tools for charting the connections between individuals proves that local SEO health hinges on who you know and how you know them.

Interacting with your target audiences through videos, contests and old-fashioned back and forth can make all the difference in the world.

5. Proper Negative PR Management

The idea that there’s no such thing as bad press has sunk more businesses than you could possibly imagine. The fact of the matter is that there is such a thing as bad press and toxic PR has become increasingly damaging in the age of the Internet.

A commitment to addressing concerns raised by the general public on social media sites such as Google+ and Yelp will help you to rank higher in the SERPs in the end.

A Holistic Local SEO Mindset

Today, organic SEO best practices are based almost entirely on content marketing and link building. This goes double for local SEO, where quality content and connections can make or break your efforts.

While the local SEO playing field often demands a bit more fine tuning to achieve results, the extra effort is worth it in the end for local players. Be mindful of the aforementioned areas of interest if you’d like to win the local SEO game.

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Earl is a writer at Crowd Content and creates content for a mix of technology and mobile marketing websites. To work with Earl and other great freelance writers, create a free client account at Crowd Content today!

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2 thoughts on “5 Bedrocks of Good Local SEO in Q4, 2013”

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    To be successful, social media must drive your local SEO strategy both on and off-line. It should be integrated into every part of your marketing practice and weaved into every plan for your company.

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    The problem could be that you don’t really know how to properly optimize your site for local search. Sometimes the process of achieving the ranking you expect can be a lot more complex than you think. Great post.

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      Local optimization is definitely a lot different than it used to be. It used to just be a matter of using local keywords, but so much has changed just in the last couple of years.

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    Holly Acosta says:

    This is great information, Earl. I live in a small, out-of-the-way town in a recreational area. It’s actually a rather charming place but since none of the businesses are listed or managed on Google, we don’t get a lot of tourist traffic during the season. I’ll use this info to target people who are temporarily local as they vacation nearby.

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    Natalya Ward says:

    Great tips for all types of businesses. I think they should really look closely at 4 and 5 since many businesses have the approach of simply creating an account, posting randomly and never interacting. Engaging with your audience and doing whatever you can to turn negative feedback into a positive goes a long way towards improving your business’s reputation.

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    Holly Thomas says:

    I agree that local businesses need to utilize social media in order to boost their search rankings. Far too often I have gone online to find business hours or a restaurant menu and found either a poorly designed website or a Facebook page that is poorly optimized. I don’t think that local businesses release how easy large establishments make it to shop online or in the case of restaurants order online. If they don’t strive to compete they will lose customers like myself that tend to peruse and checkout every place i go before actually heading out the door. If a business can’t spend five minutes on a Facebook page they aren’t worth my time, and I think as time ticks on there will be a lot more people like me.

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      It’s understandable that a local business might not have websites. Building a quality website is expensive, and maybe the business just doesn’t have the money to spare. However, there is no reason for a business to not take advantage of social media, which is free to use and can provide a big promotional boost. A business that doesn’t use social media is telling people, “Our heart’s not really in this.”

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    Georgia Potts says:

    The good news is that following all of these points is a lot more effective, and cheaper, than creating a big splash in the phone book. That was once the only way to do any of this, and it didn’t paint half the picture that good, local SEO work can do.

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    I agree, this is great information, but I wondering if it is outdated. I know we are still using geo-specific keywords. Are there any changes or additions to this SEO that happening in 2014? IF so, I would love to know what they are.

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    Great points. Social Media, particularly Twitter, has done wonders for my personal marketing campaigns in the past. Facebook, on the other hand, hasn’t had quite the same positive effect. Perhaps I need to begin uploading more videos, as you noted, to help increase the conversations on my page.

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    Corbin Bartoli says:

    Great post, Earl. The tips are something to keep in mind, especially the part about keeping good SEO practices. Google Authorship is a wonderful tool, one that I think isn’t very well known. Thanks for spreading the word, more people really should be using it.

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    Jerry Bowlin says:

    I think this is still relevant here in mid-2015. I especially think that marketing through social networking is important for individuals who live in small towns or who might be subject to a few personal review sites. Thus, I agree that it is important to address such concerns and think your fifth section was spot-on.

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    Corbin Bartoli says:

    Earl, I can’t help but take notice of your post, and I agree with it wholeheartedly. I love what you said about taking a more holistic approach. It really does mean the difference between a hand full of interested readers, and a plethora of them. Google Authorship is also a very good tool, and I would highly recommend it as well.

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