I don’t want to bore you with why it is important to do local business SEO or how the industry has evolved from conventional yellow page searches to one click search on smart phones.
I don’t want to bore you with why it is important to do local business SEO or how the industry has evolved from conventional yellow page searches to one click search on smart phones. We all know the importance of the online presence for any local business and how much they are going to miss it out to the competition if they are not available on the searches. Paid search can never equate to organic search result, not to mention the hassles in running campaigns across various platforms. With budget constraints it is important to ensure that the each and every dollar is spent on the right place, right time with a handsome ROI.
Generating leads: The top priority of any local business
For any business lead generation is what matters not the traffic, not the brand. If the visitors do not convert into customers, then the purpose of having an online presence is next to nothing. While establishing a brand may be an important factor for a business, generating leads is much more significant when it comes to the online space. People tend to forget brands but a lead certainly will bring in business instantly or later on.
- Call to action on the landing screen: let it be your home page or promotional page have a clear call to action. Highlight the contact numbers, email & data capture forms possibly on the top and right hand side.
- Header & Footer: Have a consistent header and footer with the contact details prominently displayed.
- Video: Visitors tend to watch a video compared to the content. An engaging video about your product or service with a clear call to action is likely to convert more than a conventional sales copy. Sales copies coupled with videos have got a higher conversion rate.
- Discounts & Coupons: Statistics indicate that a webpage with discount, coupons convert much more than a regular sales page with a form.
- Certificates & Trust Seals: Whether you are accredited or earned an award displays it prominently on all the pages. This helps a lot to convert your visitors into potential clients.
- Social Media links: A good number of visitors may be window shopping and will be in need of your product service at a later date, so it is important to provide links to your social media properties wherever possible for visitors to like and follow.
- Testimonials: It is very important that you publish the positive feedback of your happy clients to get a higher conversion rate and thus leads. Conversion rates are even more if you can add a photo and better a video testimonial.
Traffic for a website is generated through various channels of which organic traffic or traffic from search engines play a major role. Referral traffic and traffic from social media properties play a significant role as well. For a new business or seasonal business paid traffic, CPC or display advertising is much needed until they position themselves on the SERPS.
Healthy SITE – A healthy site is the strong foundation to gain trust and authenticity on search engines and various other channels which drive traffic to site. It is a combination of several factors but the most important factors are listed down
8. Crawl & Index: Make sure all the sections, pages, sub-domains are crawled & indexed. This can be done from Google Webmaster Tools with the right usage of robots.txt, sitemaps and clean html code and canonical tags
9. Responsive Design: Clean html-5, CSS to make it compatible across any device including but not limited to Smart phones – Apple IOS, Android, Blackberry, PDA’s, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops (popular browsers)
10. Content Freshness: Content is always the king, add engaging content in the form of case studies, blog posts, multimedia images, infographics & Videos.
Link Popularity – Most of the webmasters are skeptical when it comes to links after the terrible penguin penalty, but the penalty is for having bad neighborhood, paid links and spammy links. Good links always count as they not only provide link juice but also provide targeted traffic. Listed below are the best Google friendly links.
11. Local Business Sites: Listing at Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local are a MUST. They need confirmation and make sure the NAP (Name Address & Phone number) is consistent across the website and local business platforms. There are 30 other popular local sites which comprise of yellow Pages, White Pages etc.
12. Review Sites: A local business thrives on positive reviews. Potential customers always check on reviews before they make an actual purchase. YELP is the industry leader, however there are a number of review sites, some of them location specific or Industry specific where you need to have the business listed.
13. Citations: Citations are equally important as backlinks and is defined as the listing of Name Address Phone number (NAP) across various sources. Consistent listing of name, address and phone numbers increase the authenticity of the business.
14. Map Sites: When it comes to local businesses map listing is very important. The exact longitude and latitude of the physical location is listed by the map sites and some of them offer street views, satellite views etc. based on the coordinates. Mapquest is one of the best resources but there are several other map sites which list your business for free.
15. GPS Aggregators: GPS aggregators distribute data across several providers such as TOMTOM, Megellan etc. which makes it important to submit the co-ordinates data to GPS aggregators.
16. Document sharing sites: Links from document sharing sites such as slideshare, docstoc etc. are the most welcomed links. To obtain these links a detailed case study or an impressive presentation is required. This is one of the best link building strategy.
17. Videos: Videos are the next best method to obtain links and traffic. Create informative videos with call to actions and distribute across various video channels.
18. Coupons & Sweepstakes: Coupons, sweepstakes, discounts are a must when it comes to a local business. They generate direct business while providing the juicy back links.
19. Answer Sites: Answer sites play a major role in driving targeted traffic & backlinks. This also increases the trust in the industry. For eg: if you are into scrap business in Florida and answer a question on how much a junk car is worth, that gives you the trust not to mention the fact that 100s of browsers wanting to know the price will land on your answer.