Local Search Optimization

Discussion in 'Website Development & Online Marketing' started by christinaano, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. christinaano

    christinaano New Member

    Hi there-

    We are interested in a local search optimization for our restaurant in Houston. How do we get started?


  2. Reece

    Reece Member

    Thanks for the post! Lindsey, from our SEO team, is currently working on an answer and will respond as soon as she's done.

  3. Lindsey

    Lindsey New Member

    Hi Christina and thank you for your inquiry!

    There are a few things that you can do to get started optimizing your website for the search engines as well as for the local search engines. One main general starting point is looking at your on page SEO. Your on page SEO includes optimizing the content of your website included in the text, images, and links on your site.

    Your on page SEO starts with researching keywords that are related to your industry and a good tool for that is to use Google's keyword research tool. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant then you would want to search for words using the keyword research tool that are relevant to Italian food. By finding keywords that are related to your niche, you can then begin using those words in your content such as in your title tags, headings, and within the content itself. This helps to make your search results more relevant when you use the correct keywords related to your business. The most important part of your on page SEO is your title tag which can be seen at the very top left hand corner of the webpage. You want to have your top keywords located within the title tag.

    As with your content, the first title is very important along with the first few words used in each sentence. These need to be filled with your keywords but in a manner that is not forced but rather appears natural.

    To help with your local SEO, a few things that you would want to consider would be making sure that you have the correct contact information such as your name, address, and phone number along with a web page to house this information. With this information, you can then enter your profile data along with your website into Google's Local Business Listings and to do this you will need a Google Account. Once you have this, you can complete the business information section with all of your business data. The web page you want to submit is your contact/location page as your landing page. If you have more than one location, you will need to have a landing page for each location. This will help to get you higher local rankings. You will also want to register your profile with with Yahoo Local, Bing Local and Merchant Circle.

    Another big aspect of local SEO is getting online reviews. Reviews help build your credibility.It is very important to monitor your customer reviews to make sure that you don't have negative reviews popping up in the top search results. You can do this by looking at your profiles under place you have registered such as Yelp, Local.com, and Google Places. Hope you find this a good starting place and if your have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

  4. Lindsey

    Lindsey New Member

    Also, if you are interested in learning more about Local SEO, we have an excellent video resource that provides step by step instructions for getting your website listed in Google's results section here: The Local SEO Formula. We have reviewed this video and found this to be very easy to understand and very useful information. This is a really good resource for getting started in Local SEO!

  5. casey

    casey New Member

    Hey I've always wondered what 'Local' means specifically with regards to SEO? Sometimes I've heard it means search within your country, sometimes I've heard that it means search within your city. Is there an exact definition?

  6. Lindsey

    Lindsey New Member

    'Local' in regards to Local SEO here means that you are optimizing your website to be found in Google Maps as well as business listings so that you can be found within the city you live such as in Google Maps. There are some techniques that you can implement to perform country specific local SEO one important aspect being registering a country specific domain name.

    Local SEO is typically more widely known to mean SEO performed to reach the audience living in your city with you being a business that does local sales like a restaurant or clothing store. Great question! I hope this clears things up a bit.

  7. jen

    jen New Member

    Hey Christina,

    We've actually got a resource page on our Build a Website section that has links to the local search engine listings for Google, Yahoo and Bing. You can find it here: http://build-a-website.choosewhat.com/website-builder-resources#search-engine-submit

    I would suggest submitting your website to the local listings of all three search engines. This will help boost your website's visibility on the web and direct more people to your site/your business, as well as doing all of the things Lindsey suggested above.

    Hope this helps!

  8. christinaano

    christinaano New Member

    lindsey and jen, thank you very much for the optimization info . . . we have started the process and will be in-touch!

  9. Koby

    Koby New Member

    I'll have to check out Teala's next time I'm in Houston. It's pretty close to where my brother lives.

  10. Reece

    Reece Member

    Hi again, Christina. I just wanted to let you know that Lindsey has just wrote a "Best Business Tactic" blog piece on this topic for you need any more information. I'm sure most of it is covered in her explanations above, but didn't want you to be left out of the loop!

    Check her blog out here: "How to Use ‘Local SEO’ to Attract More Customers in Your Area"

  11. jonathantrott

    jonathantrott New Member

    Thanks for sharing, I'll have a look

    BTW, if you're dedicated in learning SEO, I recommend "The SEO Business Guide" from SitePoint, very good read and not to mention the valuable free tools.

    seo company in India

  12. Tule

    Tule New Member

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is more important today than it ever has been. We now have reached a time when the smart phones are replacing the yellow pages, and even laptop computers, as the method of choice for locating a business, service, or product. Not only does this fact require that every business have an on-line presents, but given the tiny 5 inch screens of the smart phones and the human nature of doing as little as possible to achieve desired results, being one of the first up on the list of search results is essential.

    This fact is especially true for small local businesses and professionals such as doctors, dentists, and the like. When someone needs a locksmith or a dentist in this day and age, they are going to grab their phone and make a decision and they are not going to scroll to page 13 or even page 2 in most cases to find them. Either your business or your competitor will be found and why you would not put your efforts to be on top when you are aware of its importance defies understanding!

    There is a school of thought out there, that with Facebook’s popularity, that search engines are becoming obsolete. This could not be further from the truth. While there is no doubt that these social networks and other consumer sites like Yelp have impacted the way people find goods and services, search engines will never lose their relevance and value to the consumer for many reasons. For instance, our society is very mobile. We move to different areas and must locate services and goods in this new location. We also have privacy issues and we don’t want to post on a wall that we are looking for cosmetic surgery or psychological counseling. We also may not fully trust our “friends” opinions and even if we do, we want to further research the businesses that they mention to see if it is the right fit for our needs. We also may want something with different business hours, availability, or closer to our exact location. We also may need or want to do some price comparison or examine some other aspect of a business, such as specific products or expertise. Leave alone that you are bound to get more than one recommendation from your facebook friends.

    Having a good search engine optimization plan for your business includes having your website itself structured properly to cause search engines to be attracted to it and by following good long term optimization techniques such as link building and having fresh content on the page throughout the life of your website. This is somewhat time consuming but paying an SEO firm for just a couple hours of their time monthly can pay off by many times your investment most of the time. If you just throw your website out there and let it sit like most small businesses do, it goes “stale” and can truly harm your Google position, especially if one of your competitors takes good SEO practice to heart and employs these valuable techniques.

    One thing that you should keep in mind is that SEO takes time to manifest itself in the form of higher search engine rankings. Google and the other search engines want to “trust” you before they let you have a valuable position in their results. The term for this is being in the “sand box” and it is thought that a minimum of 6 months is needed for a new site to be allowed out, but there is no set rule on this. A lot of this depends on the competitiveness of the niche your business is in. Also, it takes time for your backlink building efforts to show up. Then, google likes to see your backlinks have been around a while before they give them full weight in your ranking formula. So, the moral of the story is not to wait in your SEO efforts as you are costing yourself money every day.

    Why look a gift horse in the mouth! Get your site up and get it First up! That is the name of success today. Hope this was of some help and a fun read. Garry Cooper, President/CEO of firstupseo.com and fishnfools.com is a graduate of CSU Chico School of Business and has had a successful career in the business community for 35 years in Northern California and authors an economic blog on the regional newspaper.

  13. GeneralManager1

    GeneralManager1 New Member

    Local SEO is SEO that do for only specific area or region..When you perform business for specific location then you must do Local SEO for that business..

  14. Put your business to the local listing sites such as Google My Business, Four Square, Yelp or anything else that is famous in your country. Apart from that making a website and target the local keywords will be the best option.
    Charles T likes this.
  15. James Greenwood

    James Greenwood New Member

    You should also look out for the compelling SEO tools available. They will make your work even easier to accomplish.
  16. If you have a new business then go for SEO, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads. Once people recognize you then you need to spend less on Paid ads and continue with SEO.
    Charles T likes this.
  17. Anne87

    Anne87 New Member

    I wonder if your efforts did work out eventually, it's been more than ten years now.

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