Local SEO Simplified: How Businesses Can Use Local SEO and Google+ to Gain New Customers
Most local businesses are too bogged down in day-to-day operations to focus on search engine optimization. But that’s a mistake, according to SEO4Advisors founder Brien Shanahan. He says that search engine optimization for local keyword terms is the most important online marketing task for many small businesses and often requires little more than claiming a Google business profile, which about 90% of local businesses neglect to do.
With the recent launch of Google+Local following Google’s acquisition of Zagat, the search giant is personalizing search, mixing social media into local search results. Reviews and ratings from Web searchers’ Google+ connections are prominently displayed in the personalized search results and businesses with more favorable ratings will likely receive higher placement in search results. Businesses that embrace the new “social Web” by actively engaging clients and prospects by posting photos, videos, updates, and promotions to their Google+ business pages will also likely rank higher in search results.
“While that seems like more work, the payoff can be easily worth it,” says Shanahan. Having an optimized website isn’t even necessary for many companies. Just having a simple website and a complete and engaging Google+Local page may be enough to gain plenty of new business from Google search results.
To create an engaging Google+Local page, you need useful content, and finding that content is often the struggle for many business owners and marketers. But Shanahan explains that creating engaging content is easier than you’d think. He recommends having a blog and writing as often as you can. You could share company news, give your take on industry events, and answer common questions that clients and prospects might have. One place to find ideas is on question and answer sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, or LinkedIn Questions where you can search for common questions in your industry. You could then pick a few questions and answer them in your blog. Or better yet, do a video blog post or a webinar.
“Today, most people prefer video and webinars over written content, and even technology novices can quickly learn to shoot basic videos and do webinars,” says Shanahan. “The technology does most of the work and you just supply the content.”
Learn more from Shanahan in his webinar, “Local SEO for Financial Advisors and How Google+ Can Help” and in the full article on Local SEO and Google+ at the SEO4Advisors blog. Shanahan has focused on providing SEO services to independent financial advisors, so he shares insights on local SEO and Google+ for advisors, but any local business marketer could benefit from reviewing this content as the process is the same across industries.