Local organic local search may the most important SEO marketing weapon you have and too many small businesses simply ignore it. Attracting the business you need from your local and regional area can often make or break your bottom line. The challenge is, of course, that the search engines really don’t know where you are unless your SEO has been relentless with regard to that. They will act on a few keywords and phrases but as far as location goes. It can be a hit or miss proposition.
While a local search can often take on the same characteristics as a larger, more global, search, there are some particular characteristics that you really need to focus on dominate in local search. One of the best strategies for boosting your local search rank is to consistently gather in positive word of mouth. Customer and client reviews are gold when it comes to local search domination and overall SEO marketing success.
Ask your customers for those positive reviews out at Yelp and Facebook. Also, try and get your customers and clients to write testimonials that can go directly onto your website. The search engines, especially the Google gods, love positive reviews. However, you are bound to get some bad reviews, too. Whether they are fair or not is beside the point. You must leap on them like they were on fire. Reputation management is an ongoing process that should be happening every day. Turn any negative reviews into positive reviews by doing whatever it takes to make that customer happy.
Local citations are another important aspect to your overall local SEO success. Yelp is a perfect example of a local citation that you to be on and be on in a positive way. Also, you need to be on anything Google like the Google My Business pages. If you want Google to love you then you have to go out and love Google. Also, not having a Google Plus account will probably hurt you.
Finally your NAP (name,address, phone) information is crucial to your success. It may seem like a small and easy thing but so many small businesses just don’t pay the attention to it that they should. The truly important thing, however, is not to confuse the search bots; not even a little bit. Your contact information must be on every single page you own and your NAP info must all look the same. If it differs in even the slightest of deviations, the bots might miss it and you will find yourself much lower on a SERP than you really need to be.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer