Part 1 of this installment focused on local business listings and optimizing your Pay per Click campaigns to maximize your investment in targeting local search. Both strategies laid out in Part 1 should be fairly easy to accomplish; Part 2 is a more complicated and time consuming strategy to maximize your investment in targeting local search.
Natural Search Engine Optimization
Natural search engine optimization is using onsite and offsite techniques to get naturally ranked high on Google or other search engines for targeted keyword phrases. As a small business targeting a local area it is too costly and time consuming to rank for general terms without targeting the location.
Let’s use the bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago example again; it will be almost impossible for a small business with limited resources to rank high enough on Google for a keyword phrase such as “bankruptcy lawyer”. It would be a challenge just to be listed on the first ten pages, let alone the first page. There are simply too many Websites that already target that keyword phrase for you to have a chance to rank high. Also in most cases ranking high for “bankruptcy lawyer” would be irrelevant because the chances are the person searching is out of your business area.
When developing your search engine optimization plan you should focus on targeting keyword phrases that include the location in which you do business. This geographic location plan should be implemented in both your onsite and your offsite SEO strategies.
Onsite Localized Search Engine Optimization strategy
- Develop a list of 5 – 10 targeted geographic based keyword phrases(chicago bankruptcy lawyer, chicago bankruptcy attorney, bankruptcy law firm in chicago, etc)
- Develop a Webpage of content for each keyword phrase targeted. For example; develop a Webpage that is keyword dense for chicago bankruptcy lawyer.
- In your Page title tags utilize the targeted keywords in your list, make sure the most important terms are to the left (your business name is a waste here). For example; if your homepage targets the keyword phrase “chicago bankruptcy lawyer” your title should be something like “Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer – Bankruptcy Lawyer in Chicago”. Best to use your keywords no more than twice in a title.
- Write a good Meta Description that contains that targeted keyword phrase.
- Your H1 tags on your Web pages should include the targeted keyword phrase for that page.
- Your image alt tags should include the targeted keyword phrase.
- Your page names should include the keyword phrase that is targeted on that Web page. For example if your “about” page targets “chicago bankruptcy attorney”, then instead of calling that Web Page “about.html” it is better to call that page “chicago-bankruptcy-attorney.html”
Offsite Localized Search Engine Optimization strategy
- Your directory submissions need to include your targeted keyword phrases. When adding your Website to directories, instead of using your company name as the link it is smarter to use your targeted keyword phrases. For example when you add your Website to directory A, you can use a link name of “Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer” and when you add your website to directory B, you can use a link name of “Bankruptcy Law Firm Chicago”.
- Look for directories that allow for deep linking and link to individual keyword driven pages instead of all links going to your homepage. For example: if your about page targets “chicago bankruptcy lawyer” you should submit that page to a directory that will accept a deep link and use the link name “Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer”.
- Write industry specific articles and link to targeted Web Pages in your Website. For example if you write an article about Bankruptcy Law, you should link that article to your page that describes Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys and make sure the link title is “Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys”. Most article submission sites include a link to your Website in your resources section and sometimes in the article itself.
- Write keyword driven press releases and submit to the Web. Make sure the back links in your press release are title using your targeted keywords such as “Bankruptcy Law Firm in Chicago”
In conclusion, there are three strategies you should explore if you are a company that offers your products or services to a defined location and you want to rank high on the major search engines.
1. Local Business Results
2. Localized Pay per Click Advertising
3. Localized Natural Search Engine Optimization