Even though Penguin (Penguin 2.0 launched by Google on May 22, 2013) has apparently clipped the wings of sites that were using manipulative link building tactics, it has proved to be boon for most small or local businesses. As a matter of fact, it is high time for local businesses to dynamically amplify their local marketing strategies, taking advantage of this update. However, here is a guideline for implementing some of the strategies hinted in the new update.
Local citations matter most since citations play a key role in local search ranking. Use it in the form of NAP (Name, Address and Phone number of the business) as much as possible, but not so overtly as to create aberration. Also, make sure that all your citations appear correctly on sites such as Yellow Pages, MapQuest and City Search because these will help establish your business locally. Moreover, citations go a long way towards authenticating your business while it is very difficult to fake membership in local chamber of commerce or other neighborhood institutions. What is more, local citations are mostly relied upon by search engines as valid and trustworthy business information.
Guest Blogging is no lesser in improving local SEO strategy and tactics. Moreover, it is one of the most dominant link building techniques that is in play these days. Therefore, it is no wonder that local businesses regard guest blogging as a highly valuable criteria since it makes their content and brand all the more visible. However, the most important part of it is that it permits contextual links back to your website, thus enhancing authority in local organic search rankings, especially when geo-local presence comes into play.
A page for each Location advises Search Engines, for business with multiple locations. In other words, if your business has multiple locations, you must make sure that a separate page is allotted to each location in order to heighten your chances of ranking in local search results. You must also ensure that all these pages are provided with relevant information about the business in those areas that includes your NAP. Needless to say, this is true for any location where your business has physical presence.
Google+ Local Reviews also play a big role in improving local SEO, especially since Google is now giving more attention to social signals such as online customer reviews for affirming business’s relevance and positioning. However, one of the simplest ways of soliciting reviews is to send out personalized emails to your customers with request for writing reviews on the business’s Google+ Local page. Alternatively, a specific landing page with a link may be set up which will lead customers to the business’s Google+ Local page. Eventually, a specific testimonial and review page may be created where all rich snippets from all these reviews can be suitably assembled.
Review Rich Snippets Markup is another way of improving the presentation and visibility of your web pages in the search results. Apart from the strategy described above, you may use hReview micro-format to structure your review data since it is considered as the best method of doing so.
Optimize for Mobile just because most of the users are now searching for local businesses on their mobile devices. Moreover, search results on mobile devices are more geo-centric than desktop-based search results.
Local Content Marketing techniques involve platforms such as search engines, mobile as well as social media through which small businesses can influence content marketing. However, it is best to research what the target audience is looking for and then provide it with appropriate information through blog posts, news stories or infographics.
Local video marketing, though not so popular till now, is a powerful tool for local SEO campaigns. It gives a unique opportunity to interact with the customer and at the same time letting them know about the business in a novel cinematographic fashion. The message can be uploaded on YouTube or directly on the website.