Did you know that 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of search results? That means that if your website does not show up on the first page of search results, 75% of Internet users that make searches on search engines will never find you. In today’s highly competitive market, SEO is more important than ever for businesses to be seen on the web.
Although local SEO and National SEO are similar in nature, there are some distinct differences between the two strategies. As you may have guessed, local SEO focuses primarily on the company’s local target audience. Not only is the strategy geo-based, but there are also a few techniques that are specific to local SEO. These include:
On Page Optimization: Off Page Optimization:
Meta Tags Development Social Bookmarking
Keyword Density Optimization Article Submission
Web Content Optimization Blog Posting
Google Webmaster Setup Blog Commenting
Header Tags Optimization Content Optimization
Google Analytics Setup Press Release
Alt Tags Optimization Directory Listing
HTML Site Map Web 2.0 Submission
Title Tags Optimization Link Exchange
XML Site Map Search Engine Submission
In order to get ranked, your site needs to have the following elements:
Google and other search engines crawl your site for text. Your content should tell search engines (and humans) what your site is all about. Based on your site text, search engines will determine what search terms your site should rank for, so you want to make sure you have relevant, informative content on your site.
Keywords are the terms users enter into search engines to find your site. You should have a few main keywords to provide focus and show search engines the purpose of your site. Your keywords should be a part of the natural flow of your site.
External links are links from other websites that point to your site and tell search engines where to find you. The more external links you have, the faster search engines can index your site.
Your website structure explains how each of your site pages connect with the others. You want your users to be able to access all of your pages with the least amount of clicks possible. This makes it easier for users and search engines to find what they’re looking for.
Sitemaps map out how each site page is connected to the others through links. As search engines crawl your site, your sitemap increases the chance that all your site pages will be crawled and indexed.
Google Places and other directories receive data from all different sources and also index a ton of local directories to provide the most relevant local results to their users. While receiving and indexing that data your business name, business location and business content is being gathered by Google. A local citation is a reference to your business somewhere on the internet, a directory, press release, partner’s website, local community website, etc.
The idea is to associate your references with websites that are focused locally. This validates to Google that you are relevant for local searches; but you also appear to be popular, due to the large number of references to your business. Now your business is considered to be a valuable resource to their users.
Citations are incredibly important in local SEO. They are what drives the local search results and typically are not included in a national SEO campaign. Whenever a company’s name, address and phone number are listed on another website, it is considered a citation. It is essential that this information be consistent across the board as inconsistent information can significantly decrease the SEO value of citations for a company. Companies can obtain local citations from websites such as:
- Google+ Local
- Bing Local
- Yellow Pages
What is a Backlink?
Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website. Also knows as Inbound links (IBL’s). The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.