By Mark Griffin
Small business and local SEO needn't be inaccessible. Here are a few pointers on boosting your traffic and reaping the benefits.
If you have a business that is located in a specific postcode with a fixed address and have some kind of website presence you must surely have come across the concept of small business SEO.
For many small business owners, SEO is a locked room which you are standing outside of trying to peek a look through the window. Well, I'm here to show you that it needn't be that way, it needn't be confusing and it needn't be a costly affair.
In my experience most small business websites not only benefit from local SEO but also that it can cost only a few hundred pounds with the benefits lasting months. In this SEO guide there are a few relevant questions and answers that will help you get a rankings boost and hopefully keep you there for some time to come.
What type of small businesses can benefit from local SEO?
For any business it's important to understand where and how their prospects are going to find your services. Using internet search engines to find local services has replaced older typical behaviours like looking in newspapers and paper directories. So it goes without saying that almost all localised businesses can benefit from local SEO to put themselves in front of those prospects.
Is local SEO different from SEO in general?
There are certainly crossovers between SEO in general and local SEO. Many people use general search terms when searching for local services as well as their search terms being loaded with postcodes or the name of your town or city.
Localised SEO does come with a handful of key differences to SEO in general with the most important being a Google places listing or a Google+ page for your business. Claiming this and completing your details 100% correctly will help Google deliver your website or page to your prospects when they use general search terms and are located in your town or city.
Another important factor in local SEO success for small business websites is using local references in your on-page SEO. What I mean by this is including the name of your town or city or postcode references in your page title, description and on your website in general. If someone is looking for 'electricians in Glasgow' and you don't have any references to Glasgow in your on-page SEO then it's highly unlikely any search engine will deliver your website to its users.
In keeping with the above, it's a good idea to have your complete business address in the footer of your website. Doing this will help search engines determine the relevancy of your website to the users search term and their locality.
There's also the use of Schema.org for local businesses which is set of HTML snippets that your web master or web design agency should implement. This also helps search engines to identify your business and deliver your website to its users for arbitrary related searches to your offering.
What other ways can local SEO benefit you?
Once you've set yourself up with a Google+ page it's really important that you encourage your customers or clients to give you a positive review. Reviews are social signals that positively contribute towards Google deciding whether to deliver your listing to its users. So it's a good idea to include links to your Google+ page and encouraging people to connect with you across your website and in other communications such as emails.
Small business localised SEO is an on-going, integral part of the success of many local businesses. Employing an SEO company to do the work for you needn't be a costly affair and the rewards will ensure a good return on your investment.
After studying Design at his local University, Mark went on to work as Creative Director for a number of companies. Mark is a founding member & Director of Ranking Quest which intially offered Professional SEO Services in Cardiff [http://www.webmarketingandseo.com/seo-cardiff.html] but has now expanded UK wide. Visit our Small Business SEO [http://www.webmarketingandseo.com/seo/small-business-seo-package.html] page, it's currently our best offer for local SEO services.Google Ranking