Nuts & Bolts - Search: 4 SMB Local SEO Tips
For businesses reliant on local traffic (Web, mobile and foot) few marketing efforts could be more important than optimizing local search.
"As consumers rapidly adopt new devices and new methods to access local business information, online local listings have become the most relevant and trusted search results," reads the executive summary of the "15miles/Localeze 2012 Local Search Usage Study," conducted by comScore.
The basics count, according to a June 8 post on the SEOBook blog titled "Local SEO Tips From Darren Shaw of Whitespark." Shaw, the founder of Edmonton, Canada-based Web development and SEO company Whitespark, and the research say what local businesses can do now about search engine optimization:
1. Do the boring work first—it's the most important. "It's horribly painful work trying to find all the places where your name, address and phone number are incorrect, but … there are no shortcuts," Shaw tells SEOBook. (The study agrees that NAP data are the "most relevant and trusted search results," despite citing a trend of searchers looking up categories/keywords instead of business names.)
2. Get active on Google+ as a business, which will merge with the Google+ Local page, Shaw says. But don't bother linking to old Google Places pages, because they weren't indexed, he says.
3. Besides Google+, pay attention to social network local business search and daily deal sites. (Social networks are also filled with consumer reviews, which are important to search, notes the research.)
4. Create content, Shaw says. He won't work with companies that don't.