What is Local SEO?
If you are running a small business you have probably realized that Search Optimization is going to be one of the key aspects of your marketing strategy, however, there is a lot more to this form of advertising than just gaining top rankings for your website on the Google country domain from where you are located.
You may decide that you need to narrow your audience down to an even more specific region of people, this is where Local SEO comes into play.
Google Places & Google Maps
Most people have registered their business on Google Places but if you include keywords in your title and description it will appear alongside the organic search results with a little marker to tell the searcher that your business is local.
Also when you verify your Google Places listing by telephone, a map with images will appear next to your organic search result when typing your business name! Upon clicking on the map for more information there are also text-ad spots which you and your competitors can bid on in Adwords.
Location Extensions in Adwords
I learned about Location Extensions whilst running Adwords campaigns and brushed up a little on it while taking my certification exams. In Adwords you are able to link to your Google Places account, this means that your address will be displayed under each text Ad when a user searches for related services in your location.
You can also enter the address of the business directly into Adwords if you don't have access to the Google Places account, this can also be useful if you are a large brand and want to assign different stores to various ads rather than your main headquarters.
Google will also use the searchers I.P address as an indication of where they are searching from and this means more impressions for your ad from relevant people who might be within visiting distance of your store.
My last suggestion for improving your local search optimization comes from personal experience and it also can result in great viral traffic for your site.
Customer reviews and comments play an important role when potential customers are deciding whether or not to trust your service, they will look at the other listings below your main site when typing your business name into Google.
An example of Good customer testimonials presented itself in the form of a review site displaying a few spots below my clients main site, I decided to backlink this page and it resulted in the listing moving directly to second place and Google also displays a yellow star rating which looks attractive to searchers.
If you do not see any of these review sites displaying on page one for your business, why not specifically design a testimonials site like I did here for a company named Seymour Direct.