Tips to Get Website Traffic from Local Searches

If you own a local business with a website, you really want people to be able to find you through the search engines. Let’s take a look at a few local SEO strategies that will get your site ranking better.

Try to put yourself in the frame of mind of one of your own customers when you plan your local SEO strategy. Before you can do SEO for your site, you have to get into the customer’s mind. You have to picture yourself as a prospect using a search engine to locate the kind of item you sell, and try to figure out exactly what they would type into the search field. Imagine that you are the owner of a store that sells only one kind of item, golf accessories. Search engine users who type in “golf” are doing an extremely broad search and are mostly not going to be looking for what you have. Likewise, people who type in “golf tournaments” are looking for something other than what your store offers. You are looking for customers who search for “golf accessories,” which is a match to what you have to offer. Businesses trying to generate local traffic tend to overlook keywords that are relevant but not hugely popular. They only look at the most popular keyword phrases, which get a high number of searches but also have lots of competition. Putting yourself in the place of your prospect is what gives you the best insight into creative and profitable keywords. Your ability to find targeted keywords will improve with practice, and you’ll find more customers and you will eventually be able to rank for a variety of relevant keywords.

The major search engines run local listing services like Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing Local, and claiming your profile is the first thing to do when visiting these sites. Each of these sites has a fairly straightforward verification process to claim your profile, and all you have to do is complete some boxes and verify your address and phone number. This is a relatively fast and easy process that gives you an advantage over the many other businesses who neglected to do it. Besides that, upload pictures to these local site listings because they make you appear genuine in the eyes of the users by providing them pictures of your business. So to make sure this process goes smooth and people see good, worthy pictures, upload a few from your site. These pictures don’t have to be taken professionally, but since they’ll be representing your business, you have to see to it that they’re decent.

Getting good links from local websites can really help your search engine optimization. You should try and network throughout your community, since it’s a must for any local business to do so. To increase your website ranking, as well as your overall reputation as a local business, you should seek out quality, relevant links to your site from established and highly regarded groups and businesses in your area. By getting quality backlinks from the best local sites you can rank well for location based keywords, as the search engines base their rankings on relevant backlinks. You have to convince the search engines that you are a local business that is important in your community. The quality of your backlinks is what really counts, more than the quantity. One link from the Chamber of Commerce is better than a 100 links from local blogs.

Don’t worry so much about getting a huge number of links, but look for quality instead. In summary, local search engine optimization requires you to put in a bit of extra effort, but in the end, it also gives you the opportunity to reach out to your target audience easily.

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