As a consumer you’ve come to expect personalized search engine optimization (SEO) from companies, whether you realize it or not. Imagine it’s morning and you need a coffee but you’re racing to get to an appointment. You speak into your phone and ask for Starbucks drive thru. You expect your phone to instantly give you a few options that are nearby. You certainly don’t want a Wikipedia page on Starbucks or a listing for coffee shops in a different city or state. You want your search to be personalized to what you want without you having to specify what that is. Actually, let’s take a moment to appreciate how remarkable that is and yet we expect it.
If you want to reach your audience, you’re going to need to learn to feed the machine that gives those personalized search results.
Location, Location, Location
Unlike real estate, we really don’t care where your location is, we just want you to mention it. Mention it a lot and make it prominent. It sounds crazy but quite a lot of businesses don’t mention their basic who/where/what enough. Make sure your company name and location is on every page so people can find you. Also make sure it’s easy to find on your social media accounts. Try a test: have friends search and see if they can find your location from your page within 30 seconds. Then see if they can find it in 10 seconds.
We simply love keywords at Filament. Keywords are the foundation of your success but you, of course, must be using accurate keywords that not only reflect your business or what you offer but also your location. Work your location into your website in the header, the footer, the content.
Register Your Website
Take charge and actively register with search engines rather than letting them find you, this way you know they’ve got your location. Google Business should be your first stop, then hit all the others.
Ah yes, the dreaded link building. Actually, in this situation it’s a wonderful tool and you can directly benefit from doing it correctly. Build your local business by reaching out to local organizations and groups and becoming affiliated. Do you love animals? Then link to the local animal shelter and offer customers a chance to donate. Join your local business organizations and link to them and ask them if they have a member directory where they can link to you. It’s this sort of local link building that’s going to earn a solid standing with the search engines.
Be mobile. Remember mobilegeddon from 2015? If your website isn’t mobile and doesn’t convert for users on the go, then you can be in serious trouble. It’s vital to get a website that either converts beautifully and responsively or get a separate mobile website. Local searches often come from mobile devices and by not having a mobile site or not being user friendly, you can basically kiss those customers good-bye.
The overwhelming concept here is that the search engines, Google in particular, want to give searchers what they want; whether that is by delivering a product, a service, information — anything. Quite often searchers want something that is local (not always, of course) and the search engines are finding ways to deliver. Personalized search is not just about local and location, but this is a prime place to start. Contact Filament for more information and for help optimizing your website.