SEO Priorities for Local Businesses

February 13 / Mark Kelly / filed under SEO

At Chair 10 Marketing we’ve come up with a set of top priorities for our local business SEO clients. Today we’d like to share some of our top priorities.

Getting Started: As a first step, it’s crucial to understand a client’s geo-targeting, or, in other words, from what cities or zip codes does the business want to get clients? Because that geo-targeting is one of the most important inputs for Local SEO work, if not the most important input, it should be evaluated at the get-go. Depending on a business of course, geo-targeting can very widely. Whatever the size, it’s critical to understand your geo-targeting as soon as possible.

Google Places: A cornerstone of SEO for local businesses is Google Places, also known as Google+ Local (or sometimes known as Google Maps Listings). While this may not come as a gigantic surprise, it’s key to keep in mind. Properly claiming a Google Places page should be a priority for a local business’s SEO efforts.

Verified Directory Listings: In addition to claiming a Google Places page, it’s essential to claim listings on other trusted directories. Some trusted sites we claim listings on include Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, Yellowbook.com, Yellowpages.com, MerchantCircle, and many more. Having these verified listings is so important because consistency for local business information is key. That is, having your business name, address, and phone number consistent and in the right places will help strengthen your online presence and your trust and authority with the search engines.

Website Content: Another key component of Local SEO is relevant, local-oriented content on your website. Having local content helps search engine crawlers recognize where you do business – and that local content also makes that same thing clear to potential clients visiting your site. This local-oriented content on your site typically comes in different forms. It can involve taking existing pages on your Website and inserting the cities your business targets into the right places. It can also involve having a blog on your site and posting to it regularly about topics related to your business and related to the local community.

Reviews Strategy: In many ways, we now live in a reviews economy. Reviews help potential clients determine where to spend their hard-earned dollars; so having a strategy to obtain reviews for your business is key. Countless websites can collect reviews for your business but its crucial to know which of these sites are worth sending past clients to. Additionally, it’s vital to continually monitor new reviews as they come in and address any negative reviews.

Following these priorities will help get your Local SEO efforts off to a solid start. Then work to get your business listed on more and more local directory Websites over time, continually add unique and relevant content to your Website, encourage your customers to give you online reviews, and monitor those reviews on an ongoing basis. Being disciplined and steady with your Local SEO work will pay big dividends over time with more local visitors coming to your site and more local business generated.