I read this really great article about how users search for local business on the Internet. They did a research study about searcher behavior when looking for local businesses, which is of course, very important to know if you are trying to get traffic from a specific geographical location. See the article here:
I have been optimizing both local and national website for years now and have seen what a difference in traffic it makes when you choose a specific city name and focus on that city name combined with broad keyword terms to optimize a website for local visibility.
Multiple Business Locations
If you have more than one location, it would be a good idea to add landing pages for each of the cities you are trying to get traffic from. If your business is located in a city right outside of a large city that you know people use to search (like West Palm Beach,) and you do business in that larger city, you may want to consider using the larger city name to optimize first then expand out by using geo-landing pages.
For example you may want to optimize the home page of your website using keywords like “Plumber West Palm Beach Fl” and have a landing page for “Plumber Jupiter Fl.” Depending on how competitive your keywords are, you may want to have several geo-landing pages for the same keyword.
I am absolutely fascinated by searcher behavior which is no surprise to me since I have been studying human behavior my whole life. Only now my obsession helps people (mostly entrepreneurs) get more traffic to their websites.
Google+ for Local Businesses
You can not talk about local visibility optimization without talking about Google+ and Google Authorship. There are many local businesses who have keywords that bring up the Google local listings first and then the organic rankings. If this is happening for half of the keywords you are trying to rank high for, you need to create a Google+ account, profile, and local business page. You need to try to rank in position “A” in the map because 42% of the people who click on anything in the organic area will click on the very first listing. Sometimes organic results come up first and sometimes the Maps system comes up.
Get All you Google Local Ducks in a Row
In order to cover all your bases for local visibility, you need to optimize your website for local search and max out and optimize your Google+ account, profile and local business page. This is not for the faint at heart or the inexperienced. I took a 5 hour course just on Google+ and now I consult, teach and set up, optimize and max out Google+ for my clients. There has been an explosion of interest in Google +. If you haven’t embraced it yet, now is the time.
Google+ is a nice balanced cross between social media and seo meaning that you can post to your circles in Google + and if they are on “personal search” on their computer, your post may come up on the first page of their search results. That is remarkable.
I am giving a training on Google + and Google Authorship on April 15, 2013 at the Palm Beach Gardens Library from 6pm to 8pm. I have already announced this training to both of my meetup groups. Come join us and meet other like minded people.
by Carolyn Lee