local seo techniques
Every local business needs a local SEO strategy. Do you have tested local SEO techniques in place for your local business? If you’re not, you’re not alone. Most of the local businesses that I meet with in a given month have not thought about their mobile SEO strategy let alone their local SEO strategy.
SEO is a pretty complicated beast. Local SEO can also be confusing based on how Google changes things with company’s Google business pages, the importance off managed citations and the all-important Google reviews for your local business.
I’ve used a few local SEO techniques to solve many local SEO issues when optimizing new and existing sites. It can be a huge time suck trying to find answers to local SEO questions time and time again.
Your Local SEO Guide
The secret to local SEO doesn’t just lie in geo tags and consistent citations across the web. Local SEO needs comprehensive keyword research.
What it doesn’t need is stuffing keywords in to your Google My Business description. The following is a local SEO guide to some tricky questions, concerns, and issues that may arise when optimizing a local business website.
1. Google+ Business Page Setup: Physical Address Issues
Many business owners work from home and/or provide their services on location at a client’s home or office. Google will allow you to set your service areas based on zip codes or cities where you have clients.
Google no longer provides the option to hide your address by selecting ‘Do not show my business address on my maps’ section. They will apply the correct settings based on the selected choices from the maps dashboard.
2. You May Have Duplicate Content Issues
Duplicate content is something you must avoid. Your website is at risk of penalty or worse, copyright infringement if you “borrowed” that content.
I’ve seen local businesses in the Niagara Falls tourism industry typically use business websites that have template driven or boilerplate content with just the location terms or business names switched out. This is not a good practice, especially in terms of local SEO.
Don’t find yourself in this situation with your web development company. Avoid duplicate content at all cost! But what do you do if you’re forced to have duplicate content issues based on other factors?
It’s not the end of the world. There is an app for that! Or at least there is a web based tool to help you find duplicate content issues on your website.
You can use tools like Siteliner to search for duplicate content within a website and CopyScape to make sure the content being published on your website is unique.
Pro Tip: I find it best to create new pages with unique URL for all locations of a business if they have more than once location.
3. Do I have to optimize title tags on all my pages?
YES! Absolutely you do. The title tag is one of the most significant pieces of metadata to optimize. Google always looks at the page title tags when crawling your website.
I still can’t believe how many local business websites that have title tags that are not optimized. Always remember that a website’s internal pages are just as important for search visibility as your homepage.
One thing to make sure of is that your web developer or SEO consultant isn’t lazy. You need to always have unique title tags on each and every page of your website. Never have duplicate title tags.
Pro Tip 1: Maximize the amount of characters in your title tag with optimized copy. You don’t need to use your company name in all title tags.
Pro Tip 2: You should populate your title tags with primary and secondary, short and long tail keywords or phrases. Do not just stuff keywords – write titles that are easy to read and makes sense.