Local search engine optimisation should be one of the top priorities for your local marketing initiatives and can be a major driver of your enquiries and leads.
Local SEO has been dominating my working weeks of late… I’ve been reading up on – as well as implementing & testing – all sorts of local search strategies, best practices for optimising local search and targeting services that can be used to increase local search visibility.
It all started off earlier this year when a project was put on my plate to optimise local office pages for a national brand with 50+ office locations, in order to increase organic results for geo-specific search terms and local SEO visibility in general. That would be the first phase of the project with the second phase addressing the development of Google Places (now Google Local) properties.
Phase 1 went live towards the end of May 2012, and resulted in a noticeable increase in localised search terms in our Google Analytics reports. In the last 3 months, we have also had a dramatic increase in organic branded local search terms and the local SEO optimisation has boosted our longer tail traffic generating keywords.
I have no doubt that some of these increases could be attributed to us harnessing the new ranking opportunities for local SEO that the Google Venice update rewarded and which meant that we could easily benefit from branded localised organic search results and send out more geo-targeted brand signals to boost local search.
Local Search: Learn more about it…
While researching expansion and growth opportunities for our local search footprint, I’ve come across and bookmarked loads of useful local search articles that I’d like to share:
• Local Search Data Providers (US & Canada): Because my local search marketing efforts are North America specific, this post has provided me with rich Information on the services that boost local visibility and which should be targeted.
• See how your business is listed on Google, Bing, and other major local search engines: GetListed.org currently focuses on local search resources for businesses based in the United States, Canada and the UK. I have found this site to be an essential resource for search engine optimisation best practices that could influence sustainable, long-term local search engine rankings for businesses.
• David Mihm’s Local SEO Blog: David Mihm could be considered as one of the world’s leading practitioners of local search engine marketing and optimisation. His Local Search Ranking Factors project is probably amongst the most important studies of local SEO.
• Local Search Ranking Factors 2012: Andrew Shotland’s blog, Local SEO Guide has a great summary on local SERP ranking factors based off of David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey for 2012.
• Understanding Google Places & Local Search: Mike Blumenthal’s blog contains over 2 years worth of local search knowledge. Besides Google Local, Mike also covers Facebook Places, Yahoo! Local as well as articles on local mobile & local social search. I recently found his Step by Step Guide to the Google+ Business/Local Merge Verification Process very helpful.
• Yelp Ranking Factors: Closely following Google Local, Yelp is also a local search giant growing rapidly and has a large & loyal user-base that claim that it is the place to go to for local business search. This post provides a detailed explanation as to why you need to pay attention to your Yelp presence (if you haven’t already).
• How Content Marketing Can Drive Local SEO: Brafton’s infographic offers insights on how you can create content that serves local consumers’ search queries as well as increase your organic local keywords, so you won’t just attract local traffic – but you’ll also drive & deliver local leads.
I’m hoping to update this post over the next couple of weeks with any other helpful local search articles I stumble across.
Do you have any of your own local SEO resources you’d like to share? Drop them below by leaving a reply!
Image Credit: Lai Ryanne
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