Recently, web designers and online marketers have turned their attention to local SEO strategies, recognising it as possibly the most lucrative and easily adopted optimisation technique. The turn to local SEO came with Google's local search update of November 2010 which combines traditional search facilities with the Google Maps and Google Places features to display results that are geographically relevant to the searcher. This update responds to the specific needs of the typical consumer, and also provides an opportunity for businesses to uses SEO tactics to reach local customers through online searches.
It is important to note that the aim of local SEO is actually much easier to accomplish than other strategies, because the competition for relevant keywords is generally lower, with the result that you will be seeing increased traffic to your website sooner. So how should you optimise your website for local searches and help customers find you in your own city?
The first step to gaining local SEO success is to get a Google Maps listing for your business. Making sure that your contact information is listed correctly on Google Maps is vital to making your business visible to local customers. You can also enhance your local profile with photos and videos, which carry great potential for SEO results.
There are a number of business directories available on the web, some specific to cities and others to particular types of businesses. Using these directories will increase your SEO potential as it means your business will appear multiple times in a relevant search.
Another great local SEO strategy is to consider your city name as a keyword equivalent to your product or services keywords. Including your city in the text of your website will greatly increase your SEO chances for local searches.