If you operate a local business, with a retail storefront or an office that people visit, you want to optimize your website to make sure people are able to find you. Even if your business doesn’t receive visitors in your facility, you may still need to enhance your digital presence in order to attract customers located in your same geographical area. This calls for a specific type of optimization, known as “Local SEO.”

What is Local SEO?

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about boosting your website to rank better for a local audience. Your website provides you with the opportunity to “think globally” by being available to the entire world. Local SEO allows you to “act locally” to help your business show up better in local searches within your target market.

If your target audience is located near your office or storefront, you need to optimize for that particular service area. People need to know where you are located so they can find you offline, if needed. For example, an attorney in Roswell, Georgia, should optimize for the surrounding areas including Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Norcross, Marietta, etc. Their office isn’t located in those cities, but they could certainly service clients who live there and therefore need to consider optimizing for them.

Ensuring that your business information is correct and consistent online can take a lot of time and effort to do yourself. Once your company is properly reflected across the internet, the search engines see that as a sign that your business is trustworthy and relevant to the search.

Go Local SEO – and Keep Going

Like many components of marketing, PR and advertising, Local SEO isn’t a faucet you can turn on and off. You need to leave the faucet on and let it run. Business’ online information changes almost constantly when it isn’t regularly tended. This means someone needs to be continually sending the correct company information to the most prominent and relevant online directories for your particular business. In the case of the attorney referenced above, that means Yelp, Google, Bing, and industry-specific directories such as FindLaw.

At Michael Mackenzie Communications, we work with the Local SEO experts at RevLocal to help our clients keep their listings current and be found locally. RevLocal’s service complements the websites that we build and manage for our clients by helping our clients manage, maintain, elevate and enhance their online directory presence.

Recall that Local SEO and local search is just one component of optimizing your website. Social media, word-of mouth and printed collateral also contribute to Local SEO. Mentioning your website and social media properties in “offline” communications may cause your Facebook Likes to increase, your LinkedIn connections to rise and the traffic on your website to go up. When these online results happen, Google takes note and your search engine rankings will likely get better.

This post courtesy of MMC Account Manager Jennifer Kardian.