Are your customers local? Is the majority of your audience within a certain driving distance of your place(s) of business? And if so, you may ask, “is it worth the effort to optimize my site to show up in search engines?”
As top search engines compete against one another for search supremacy, they are doing everything they can to make their search results more locally-relevant. As a result, locally-focused businesses have never had more leverage in search engines like Google.
Here’s an example. Five years ago, a search for “florist” might yield search results for the big name, national florist sites, coupled with generic articles about the florist profession, and sites with directories of florists. The only way a local business could compete was to buy paid search ads.
Today, Google has figured out that if you search “florist” you’re probably looking for one nearby. So when I search for “florist” locally, this is what I see:
The irony is that while local businesses used to have to buy the advertising, now the national sites (in this example, FTD, Teleflora, 1800Flowers) are buying the advertising. The top organic (non-paid) spots on the page are filled by local mom & pop shops florists in my local area. This is a great example of how the tables have turned to benefit local bricks and mortar businesses.
Type the generic words for YOUR product or service, and you may or may not see local search results like my florist example. This literally varies on a keyword-by-keyword basis. But if your business is local, you can benefit from local search engine optimization efforts if you know what you’re doing.
We’ve talked about SEO many times before. I’ve taught day-long seminars just on SEO. Getting results for Local SEO is very similar — there’s a lot of overlap with traditional SEO — but there are some other important things to think about too.
Later, I will post a follow-up to this article, showing you several action steps you can do to get better results on Google in your local area.
Part Two is now online!
5 Relatively Simple Ways To Improve Local Search Results
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