Take Advantage of The Most Cost Effective Off-Site SEO Techniques
After you’ve done everything you can internally to optimize your website, you should focus on implementing the most cost effective external (or off-site) Search Engine Optimization techniques. The best places to start for improving your local Internet search results are your Google My Business, Yahoo and Bing Local Listings. You should not only fill out the standard directory information (business name, address, phone number and website) but also upload geo-coded pictures and videos.
Make sure all your pictures and videos have location-specific descriptive titles for top search engine results. These listings are completely free, but you need to make sure you know what you’re doing to take full advantage of their web marketing potential. You’ll often find that the initial local online search results from performing a Google search for a local business are the Google Maps directory information that comes directly from your Google My Business listing.
Probably the most overlooked aspect of local search marketing that has the greatest potential impact on website optimization is creating a YouTube channel for your business. Since Google owns YouTube, your geo-coded videos with keyword rich descriptions have a good chance of showing up in local search queries and are more likely to get clicked on than text only search results.
If you don’t already have videos for your business, they are easy to create using slideshow software. See The Power of Video for more details on how videos can help drive more SEO traffic to your website and turn more of your online visitors into paying customers.
While Google Plus has yet to achieve the mainstream market penetration of Facebook, as long as Google remains the dominant search engine, you should participate in their social network and create a Google Plus page for your business. This gives you another important SEO marketing avenue for uploading your geo-coded pictures and videos. With Google search results giving special consideration to websites that have been given the thumbs up (known as +1 on Google Plus) by other Google Plus users, you need to take full advantage of this free local SEO opportunity.
There are numerous social media sites out there. We focus mainly on the top social networks with the best search engine potential impact based on the web search rankings of these websites. Both you personally and your business should have profiles listed on LinkedIn. You need a Facebook page to engage with your fans as well as a Twitter account, although we usually just tie your Twitter account to be fed automatically from your Facebook posts. For certain types of businesses, Pinterest and Instagram can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your website. Social media sites are free and because they are location specific and have a high amount of traffic, they show up early and often in local search results.
All of the above off-site local SEO suggestions merely take time and expertise, but when you’re ready to actually spend money on improving your local search engine rankings, you can get listed in a large number of online directories without spending a fortune. Many online directory services will list your business in numerous location specific directories that have good online visibility for a flat fee. This isn’t very expensive considering the impact this can have on your local search engine marketing placement.
For local businesses in highly competitive categories, a slow and steady link building campaign can push you over the top in local search results. There are a wide range of choices from simple and inexpensive to complex and costly, but whatever money you invest wisely in a link building campaign should pay off down the line to help you achieve top search engine results.