What is Search Engine Optimization For Local Business?

Local Business SEO is: An Internet marketing strategy of applying the methodology of 4 distinct but inter-related disciplines, in order to accomplish the goal of increasing the volume of demographically and geographically “Targeted” niche traffic to a local businesses website pages. This strategy is driven by search engine organic Local Business Listing” and organic (Not paid) search results.

Local SEO search results goals for both local business listings and general listings are accomplished through natural or un-paid (“organic”) methods. (Not to be confused with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is intended to accomplish the same goals but uses “Paid advertising” versus the “Un-paid advertising” methods of building traffic from search engines.)

Using SEO to Target Your Market (Niche): As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work as well as what and how Internet users search for their subjects of interest.

Optimizing a web site’s pages primarily involves creating or editing a web site’s page content, Markup language and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords that a targeted market may search for and to remove barriers (Critical coding errors) to the website indexing activities of search engines.

On Site and Off Site Optimization (Direct and Indirect Control)

There are 4 things a site owner or outsourced SEO expert can control that will have a direct affect on a page’s Search Engine Result Positions (SERPs) for a given page’s primary keywords. Three of the following disciplines can be controlled directly by a site owner or optimizer. The last can only controlled be in part by the site owner.

Direct Control

Effective Search Engine Friendly Coding:

The more streamline the coding of a web page, the easier it is for a SEARCH ENGINE SPIDER to scan/spider and index a web page into a search engines database. Semantically marking up all content the client provides to make it as sensible and accessible to search engines as possible is one of the “Best Practices” fundamentals I always employee.

Measured Keyword Relevance and Distribution:

Page Titles, H1, H2 & H3 Head Lines need to be keyword relevant. The body content not only needs to be well written, interesting to the reader and informative, but laced with keywords and phrases relevant to the pages subject. For local business sites, keywords need to be coded/tagged for Geo-Targeting to the Region, State, City, Town and Zip Code Areas where the business is located.

Usually the client will supply the text copy for their web pages. If they require guidance in developing quality keyword relevant text content with an allowable density for their web pages, I am of course available for consulting as well as able to make available e-courses on the subject that can assist them with their Copy Writing. Obviously if the client prefers I write the text content for their site, Copy Writing fees apply.

Since “Local” business websites can gain additional exposure through search engines through “Local Business Listings”, it is also imperative for local business owners to register their business web sites with the major search engine’s local business listings like Google Maps. These systems offer numerous opportunities to show up higher in the local listings than their competition. These opportunities deserve serious research for each search engine to take advantage of local customers finding their site easily in local listings.

Link Building:

Internal linking is how your site links allow for navigation in your own content from page to page and within pages. The links within a website basically create a hierarchy, which search engines evaluate. The internal link structure of a web site has to make a logical structured sense to a search engine spider.

Internal link structure refers to all the links within your website. Spiders look at which pages are linked together and which are not, keeping track of the link popularity of each page. The internal link algorithm follows some of the same rules that govern Page Rank. Sites that have no clear hierarchy to the link structure typically don’t rank well in the SERPs. Some would argue that internal linking can be as important, and in some cases more important than inbound referral links from popular sites.

Indirect Control

Inbound Referral Links (Sometimes referred to as “Back Links” or “Referral links”):

Inbound links from popular sites, (Also known as referral links to a web site or page), will carry the most weight with search engines for the foreseeable future. Inbound links are something a site owner can have direct control of using certain Inbound linking strategies, but for the most part they have limited control over inbound links. Why? Whether or not Site Owner B of a potentially referring site is willing to link/refer to the site of Site Owner A or not is up to site owner B.

However links can be traded (Called reciprocal linking), or purchased from other websites that specialize in sharing links (Called link farms). However these are usually from low quality, (Unpopular web sites), which do not count heavily toward better page rank in the SERPs. Companies like Google, Yahoo, ASK and BING are aware that this happens and account for it to prevent people from gaming the system. Your site can even be blacklisted if you become associated with these seedy link-sellers. If you want others to link to you then you must provide them with a website based on quality content they will want to link to.