Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t just for large-scale sites that have a huge audience. It’s equally important for local businesses to make local marketing SEO part of their marketing strategy, as it helps them reach customers just as effectively as larger businesses.
The legwork in making your site SEO-ready is absolutely worth it, as it will literally put your site’s presence above the competition (in search results). Read on to find out why and how.
Local Marketing SEO Getting Started
What SEO Means
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of tailoring your site specifically to work with search engines’ technology, leading to your site increasing in rank as potential customers are searching for it.
We won’t go into detail about the methods here, but you can go about optimizing your site in a few different ways (or better yet, all of them):
- Keywording: Add keywords to your site for items, concepts, or services of general interest.
- Tagging: Use the proper tags for your content, including titles, headers, and descriptions.
- Metadata: Insert code into the background of your site for search engines to recognize as they crawl through and index your pages.
The High-Tech Background
Search engines and sites that require a login utilize a bit of technology that stores data on your computer when you use the sites. This set of data is called a cookie, and it feeds some of your basic personal information (simple things, like your location) back to a site to help it tailor your searching experience to something more useful to you.
Cookies help sites like Google get better at knowing you, who you are, and what you search for. Cookies are why searching for “pizza” in a very general sense can return results that include your local pizza joint of choice.
This is incredibly useful information for locally focused businesses to understand. Proper SEO can ensure that sites like Google recognize your business, what types of things you offer, and most importantly, where you’re located. For users who have Google’s cookies stored on their computers, your optimized site will be much higher in the set of search results than it would be otherwise.
The Local Advantage
Not only does SEO help your business appear higher in search results for general topics pertaining to the kinds of things you offer, but it also works well with the rest of your online marketing campaign.
One of the branches of a robust campaign includes the effort you put into establishing your expertise and authority in your business’s area. Creating SEO-ready content, including articles, blog posts, and properly tagged site pages, will also get your business in front of other people who may not be doing such general-type searches like those mentioned above.
Optimizing all of your site’s content will allow search engines to find it easily and return it in any pertinent search query. This can include searches ranging from “burger joints in Saskatchewan” to actual questions with no local element like “How do I replace my dryer hose?”.
In both search cases, search engines are keying their results off sites that have language matching the search, coupled with the basic information they already know about the person doing the searching.
Search engine optimization is simply the best way to get your site and its contents (and, ultimately, you and your business) found by potential customers. And since it’s sometimes even more difficult for local businesses to get the word out, it becomes all the more important to make sure it’s done properly. A little effort up front will go a long way.