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Mastering The Art Of Local SEO

SEO — search engine optimization — is a critical part of online marketing. As the industry has evolved, though, the best practices for attracting local online attention have evolved considerably. If you want to make your business stand out when compared to local competitors, here’s an overview of the steps you can take.

  • Get Mobile Friendly

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Internet searches executed from mobile devices have seen a five-fold increase in the past few years. Today the smartphone is the consumer’s single most powerful tool when they’re searching for businesses in their area. You need to make sure that your business has a strong, consistent presence on the kinds of sites your customers use (e.g. Google Maps, Google Places, Yelp, etc.) when they’re looking for products or services.

Your primary site should also be tweaked to be mobile friendly. Whether you have an entirely separate mobile version of your site or use dynamic formatting to make your main site compatible with mobile browsers, make sure that all of your information is consistent and accessible across all platforms. Also, check to make sure that your site is coded properly so that Google recognizes it as one site instead of two competing sites.

  • Use Keywords Wisely

Researching local keywords (e.g. “Mexican restaurant Loveland, CO”) is a crucial part of any effective local SEO effort. You can use free tools to zero in on the most popular search terms being used in your area, and you should make an effort to incorporate these terms into your content.

Resist the temptation to stuff the same keyword into a single page over and over, though. Today the search engines are turning towards an advanced form of page categorization called latent semantic indexing, or LSI. LSI gauges relevance by searching a page for terms which are synonymous or closely related to a searcher’s given keywords. This means it’s more effective for you to use a keyword and several variations on that keyword rather than endless repetitions of a single phrase.

  • Find The Hole In Your Niche

Don’t doubt that the local SEO market is a competition. When you look for the best local keywords for your industry, also check to see how your competitors are making use of them. Examine all the search results that come up for a given keyword and think about what information a potential customer would like to see — but doesn’t currently see — on the first page of search results.

Craft the content that would fill that missing hole. If none of the other Mexican restaurants in Fort Collins provide tips for ordering Mexican food for a party (and that’s a service your restaurant provides), write up an article or blog post that meets that need. Congratulations — you just snared the business of every customer in Fort Collins who wants to serve enchiladas at their birthday party.

As the SEO field continues to evolve, you can pick up endless new strategies to help you get better local SEO results. As long as your business relies more on face-to-face transactions with local customers, this should be your top SEO priority. Make your business easy to find, trustworthy, and helpful on the Internet and you’ll soon be attracting more customers in the real world.

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