Once upon a time, local businesses thrived off customers that found them in the Yellow Pages. Fast forward to 2012, and the Yellow Pages are rarely used. The new Yellow Pages are Google Maps. With the invention of smart phones and mobile devices, it has never been easier for consumers to get information on the go. In fact, 70% of consumers checked an online source before visiting a local business or restaurant. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive, revealed the way consumers search for information online. Here are some of the following results:
• 43% of consumers checked Google for more information
• 17% searched the 1st web link that appeared on the SERPS
• 14% checked social media websites (Facebook & Twitter)
It’s no secret that mobile consumers are accessing detailed information about companies online before they visit a location. So, if you’re a local business owner what does this mean to you? You need to implement a local online marketing campaign designed to increase traffic to your website and physical location.
When it comes to Pittsburgh Local SEO, there are a few simple steps you can take to dominate the 1st page of the search engines and increase sales. But, what exactly is local SEO? Simply put, local SEO is the process of optimizing your website with specific strategies that include local profiles, keyword research, reviews, citations and a myriad of other factors that increase search engine rankings. Some of these factors include but are not limited to:
• Listing your physical address on local profiles
• Placing relevant category descriptions of your business on your local profiles
• Domain authority of your website
• Consistent and accurate citations
• Reviews about your business
• Quality of citations from relevant sources
While there are many ranking factors that determine your Philadelphia Local SEO efforts, there are 5 critical factors to your success.
1. Google Profile– While it’s important to set up your profiles on Bing and Yahoo, Google has a wide majority of the market share. That’s why it’s important to verify your business with Google Places and optimize it for ultimate clicks for traffic.
2. Keywords– If you want your customers to find you, you must know what keywords they are using to look for you. When it comes to local online marketing, most likely your best prospect is searching for you business with the name of the town. For example, instead of looking for just Pizza, your prospect is most likely typing in Philadelphia Pizza into their mobile device. That’s why it’s very important to find out the exact keywords your prospects are using to find you.
3. Optimization– One of the most important aspects of a Philadelphia Local SEO campaign are the keywords. You want to make sure your keywords are relevant to what your prospects are searching for. This is why it’s important to be specific as possible when placing your keywords in the categories section of your local profiles. The more relevant your keywords are, the more likely you will increase your chances of appearing on the 1st page of Google.
4. Reviews– Reviews are a very important aspect of Local SEO. Reviews from customers show the search engines that you are a real business. Reviews also help customers decide whether they should visit your establishment or not. In fact, Google is now using Zagat’s restaurant review rating system for a wide variety of businesses in Google + Local. This new rating system will have a huge impact on search engine rankings in the near future.
5. Citations– It’s noted that backlinks are the king of a regular SEO strategy. But, when it comes to Philadelphia Local SEO, citations are your golden ticket to increased rankings. Simply put, citations are any information about your business such as address, phone number, name, etc. The key to citations is to be consistent. Local online marketing requires that you get your business listed on other sites like Yelp, Insider Pages, Manta and a wide variety of other local and niche directories. However, this is where your citations really matter. When you are placing your business citations on other websites you have to make sure everything is an EXACT match. This means your business name, phone number and other information about your business has to be listed the same way across all the local directories. If there is one little error, you can hinder your chances of getting a 1st page ranking.
The Yellow Pages are no longer a useful resource of information. If you want your business to be found online, you have to be present on Google Maps. The only way to ensure success is with a Philadelphia Local SEO strategy. Call us now to learn more about how we can help you with your local online marketing needs