If your business serves local markets, there is no better way to connect with customers than Internet. Local search engine optimization is the surest way that leads right there.
Your customers go online on a daily basis to look for services and products that they need. More often than not, their first source of information is search engines that over time have turned into an extremely popular tool everyone instinctively turns to due to its unmatched relevance and intuitiveness. It is enough to hit a few keywords and Google or Bing are returning fitting results in no time at all, complete with address details, telephone numbers, customer reviews and much more. If your business serves local markets, there is no better way to advertise your offering and connect with customers than by securing a solid Internet presence. Local search engine optimization is the surest way that leads right there.
For instance, if you are a small or mid-size accounting firm in Miami, most of your business is likely to originate within the region as most local business owners have little incentive to look too far away for bookkeeping and financial services. That is why when they look for service providers on the web, they tend to narrow down their search to a geographical area they are interested in, using such keywords as Miami accountant or CPA Miami. The same technique applies to hundreds of other industries, from plumbing to computer repair that are inherently local.
To ensure stronger visibility on the Internet for potential customers, your website needs to learn to respond to such local queries. In other words, it has to be optimized for local search in Google, Bing or Yahoo. In fact, all three biggest search players are aggressively developing solutions that improve the quality and relevance of localized information. Google has integrated its Google Maps with an application called Google Places which allows to submit free local listings that surfers can browse. They include key information, like address, phone number or hours of operation, all accessible straight from the search results page so you are unlikely walk away dissatisfied. Yahoo and Bing have similar services, plus there is a spate of niche sites that cater to this market, such as CitySearch, Local.com or SuperPages.
The good thing about local search engine optimization is that levels of competition for specific keywords are not nearly as high as in the case of non-local keywords. Placing your website at the top of Google for “Miami web design” requires smaller effort and investment than achieving the same effect for a more general “web design”. A series of SEO improvements to your site and a little bit of off-page SEO work are bound to do the trick. What you get in return is an increase in superbly targeted traffic, which means fantastic conversion opportunities and, in consequence, more business.
At a time when people move away from Yellow Pages in droves, punishing this format of information delivery for failing to innovate and adapt to a new business reality, local companies cannot afford to miss out on this revolution in the way services and products are found.