Think local search is a trend that your company can afford to ignore? Think again. Earlier this year, Google announced that roughly 20% of its 400+ million daily searches included some kind of geographical reference. That’s a lot of potential customers who you need to find your business.
Luckily, integrating local search into your SEO strategy isn’t all that difficult. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
Treat your location as part of your most important keywords. In other words, “bakery” becomes “Chicago bakery,” and so on. The point is to make sure that your geographic keywords are included in heading tags, body copy, and other places search engines will find it.
Add a map and driving directions to your company’s website. It’s not enough to have local shoppers be able find you online – you need to be easy to spot once they leave the home, too. Make it as easy for people to locate you off line as it is for them to find you through the major search engines.
Pay special attention to local search on your mobile website. A big part of local search has to do with the spread of mobile devices like the Apple iPhone and Google Droid. Since potential customers might be finding you from just up the street, pay particular attention to optimize the mobile version of your company’s website with geographic terms.
Local Search is Here to Stay
As the Yellow Pages and other traditional print directories are becoming less and less important, local search is going to carry more weight with shoppers. Make sure your business is the first one they find, whether they are down the street or across the globe.