Local SEO in 2013

Search engine optimization is ever changing and in 2013 it will continue to evolve. Last year Google made over 30 changes to their search algorithm in an effort to bring users the best experience and remove potential spam websites. With all this rapid change it can be difficult for businesses to know what to do and what to avoid when it comes to marketing for search engines. One thing remains certain, if you have a physical business you need to be visible via Google’s local results.  There are countless case studies that show that local results and local reviews can have a tremendous impact on a business’ revenue.

Local SEO vs Normal SEO

Search engine optimization, or as we call it SEO services is considered to be organic because it brings in website traffic without having to pay for it directly. When someone does a search for a term and finds your website they have found you in the organic search result listings. Paid search results are those that are sponsored on the sides and top of the results pages. Those results will cost the website owner each time someone clicks on the link.

Michigan SEO search results show up when a user is looking for a place or business that is specific to a particular location. Examples of places that show up in local search results are restaurants, flower shops, dentists, chiropractors and any other type of physical business. The way that Google finds results for local search is different from the way they get results from normal organic search results. They pull information from different directories as well as look for information about your businesses location on your website.

Google also takes into consideration your business’ reputation; if you have many good ratings then your level of trust will be in good standing. If you have several bad rankings then your site may be overlooked in place of another business that has better ratings.

The Rise of Mobile

Every year the rate at which people access the internet through their mobile phone increases dramatically. Tablets and mobile phones are becoming a normal part of everyone’s life due to their ease of use and convenience. When people are out and about it is very easy to look for places to shop or eat with their mobile device and most even allow you to speak the search and it will provide results. The results of these searches are Google’s Places or Plus results and this is why you need to be optimized for such searches.

If Google cannot find enough information about your business to pin point its location then you are not likely to rank in local search results. A mobile user does not even need to input their current location. Using GPS Google will know where the user is at the time they search the internet and therefore show them the appropriate results.  This is huge for local businesses in 2013.

How to Get Ranked Locally

So how can you take advantage of local search? You must make use of all the resources that Google will pull information from. Submit your business to as many directories as you can. Google gets their information from websites like Yelp in order to display local search results. If you cannot be found on these websites then you have little chance of ranking well in local search.

Submitting your business to these sites alone is not enough either. You must be very certain that all the information is filled out and it matches across all websites you submitted to. An example of the wrong way to do it is with a local supermarket that also has a pharmacy. On one site they give their business name as ‘x supermarkets’, on another site they list ‘x supermarket and pharmacy’. This small oversight will cause confusion to the search engines and could hurt your local rankings.

Submitting your site to the hundreds of business directories and web sites can be tedious and monotonous work. However it is work that needs to be done in order to get the most benefit from local search. The cost benefit you will receive from putting in the time will be well worth it. It is not just your business name that needs to be consistent as well, all your information including address; phone number etc. must be accurate and matching.

In Conclusion

In the ever changing world of the internet you can keep up with the times by making your business web site visible to local search results. People will be searching for places to spend their money on mobile phones and they will browse local places search results. Mobile phones and tablets are quickly becoming the device of choice for gaining internet access and that trend is increasing greatly. Staying up with the times and ranking well for local search is the best way to get targeted website traffic as well as physical shop visits throughout 2013 and beyond.

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