You have probably heard about how websites need to be optimized for search engines in order for the website to rank on top of search results. This is a general guideline for anyone who is running a serious website. For businesses that are only interested in gaining customers in their local region, like restaurants owned by a sole proprietor, an auto body shop, a hair salon, etc., there are extra considerations to make when optimizing their websites. If you are local business owner, here are some tips for you.
Marketing Tips for Small and Local Business
First, you should think about the range of your geographic location. Get a local map and find your city. Then, pick a city on the map that you think is the farthest from which people will travel to visit your location. Use a protractor, putting the sharp point on your city and the pencil point on that town that you have identified. Then, draw a circle. See all the towns that are included in your circle? These are the locations that you can focus on when you are optimizing your website.
The names of the these cities, counties, townships, etc., will make up a big part of your keywords. You have a set of keywords that describe the nature of your business. Now you have the set of geographical keywords that you can use in conjunction with your other keywords. When you write your content, incorporate the geographic regions in the context. A phrase like “auto body shop in Denver, Colorado” will bump your website’s relevance to that phrase. Keep this in mind as you are writing content.
You should also include geographic regions in your title tags and your URLs. This sets your website apart from all of the other related businesses not in your region, and your website will rank higher for that specific location.
Local Business Directories
You should also list your business in online local business directories. These are usually indexed in a couple ways, by business type and by location.
Do not forget to put your address down in the header and footer of your website. These words are indexed by search engines as well, and they have importance. So, do not overlook these areas in your website.
If you have not already done so, join your local chamber of commerce. A lot of times, they manage a directory of local member businesses that visitors can use. You can give the chamber the URL to your website that they can include in the directory. This is a great way to have a high quality website linked back to you.
Services like Yahoo Maps or Google Maps give you a chance to input information about your local business in their site listing. Take advantage of this to put in your URL and contact information.
These tips will help local business increase the foot traffic to their business. The key is to have a narrower focus on an audience of a specific region, which you can consider a niche. If you execute these strategies well, you will see an increase in your foot traffic.