The difference between having a website and having a website that works depends on several factors including site design, usability and SEO. Here are 5 tips for improving your local SEO to generate more traffic to your website.
1. For SEO keywords, it pays to think local. Too many company attempt to go broad with the keywords they optimize for and then wonder why those keywords don’t generate any traffic. Area specific keywords tend to generate more specific searchers who are looking for you. Even if you sell something around the country or the world, starting with targeted areas may make it easier for you to break into certain markets.
2. Don’t just focus on your rankings in the search engines. It’s great to see that you are on page 1 of Google for certain keywords, but the real metric to measure is traffic. Many SEO companies send ranking reports for the keywords they optimize for, but don’t take the time to explain what is happening behind the numbers. Ranking reports and keyword reports should be used in tandem with Analytics (Google Analytics is free and should be on every business owners website) to determine which keywords are actually driving traffic and converting customers. If you are on page one for a keyword that never gets searched, how much good is that doing for your business?
3. Google Places is growing in importance. Google recently melded their Places listings with their other Organic listings, giving them more weight among searchers who are looking for something area specific. No small business with a brick and mortar location should be without a Google Places page.
4. Encourage feedback from your clients. If you own a brick and mortar business,encourage customers to give your reviews and feedback online. There are a bunch of ways to do this, including Yelp, foursquare and Google Places (which now has a very convenient app that allows you to rate places while you are there)
5. Social Media sites drive traffic. A component of SEO is PR or Page Rank. Creating social media profiles give your business website inbound links and helps create a higher PR. More than that, if you engage on social media channels, you can post links to blogs and other relevant/timely information on your site and can drive real local traffic. You can also use analytics built into some social media tools (bit.ly and Hootsuite) to gauge consumer interest on your topic.
So maybe it pays to Think Local about your SEO strategy.