Local SEO Is About More Than Google Maps

There are two things (almost) that every small business owner decides to do when they go online. The first is to build a website. The second is to list their business with Google Local. Many businesses do one and not the other. Some businesses just start a blog and not a website, but they put their blog on a free host. Big mistake.

But this post isn’t about blogging. It’s about local SEO.

What more should you do for local SEO than build a website and list your business with Google Local. A lot, actually.

No. 1, make sure your website it well optimized, not just for generic keywords related to your niche but also for geotargeted terms. For instance, if you are a real estate contractor in Kalamazoo, Michigan then you should optimize your website for terms related to real estate contracting, but you should also optimize it for your local geographic area – Kalamazoo. It’s surprising how many small business owners fail to do this.

In addition, list your website with other local business directories at Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, Yelp and the countless other small business directories that cater to local businesses.

Beyond that, there are other things that are optional, but that can help you. These include:

  • A local blog
  • Social networking through Facebook
  • Social bookmarking through sites like Digg and StumbleUpon
  • Getting articles published at other websites online
  • Guest authoring on other blogs within your niche

When you perform local SEO, make sure any inbound links you create for your website use both niche-oriented anchor text and geographically targeted anchor text. For example, for that real estate contracting website you might use a term such as “real estate contractor in Kalamazoo, Michigan” as the text for a link from the article to your website.

Want to know more about how local SEO can help your small business? Connect with someone who has done it. Connect with a local SEO firm who knows what local business is all about.