It is unimaginable how so many business owners still don’t understand the power of the Internet and how it can be utilized to grow even businesses that operate solely on a local level. Altogether too often they refuse to advertise online or get listings on such important sites as Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo Local and/or Bing for Business. If you are a small business owner who still doesn’t understand the power packed into Search Engine Optimization (SEO), here is some information that just might clarify things for you.
First, it should be stated that it would be in your best interest to have a business site where content can be posted having both inbound and outbound links. Your visibility on the web is really of vital importance and directly corresponds to the efficacy of local listings.
A Brief Rundown on SEO
First of all, search engine optimization is simply a means of using key words and phrases that the majority of people use when looking for something online. It could be a product, a service or even some bit of information they need. Online marketing groups are able to identify the most often searched for terms and then employ them in a number of ways so that when someone searches for those terms, your business will hopefully be on the first page of search results. When employed properly, your company gains rankings and quickly rises to the top of the list.
How SEO Adds Credibility to Your Business
That should explain why SEO is so important. Obviously you want someone who is looking for what you have to sell to find you first before they spot your competitors. But how does SEO help earn credibility with the major search engines? First of all, search engines have become extremely savvy over the past several years. They can all spot bogus content and spam a mile away and will not only forebear ranking that content, but they can (and often do!) penalize your site.
Keep in mind that you are trying to gain recognition as a site/company of authority. In this way, Google for example, will be more apt to pick up your content and move it up the list accordingly. Many businesses explode to the first page of search results quite quickly because of their effective use of SEO.
SEO and Local Listings
Now let’s look at how SEO impacts local listings with the main four we mentioned earlier, Bing for Business, Yelp, Yahoo Local and Google Local. You are probably wondering why it is so important to have credibility with the search engines if you are paying for an ad with those sites. The answer is plain and simple.
When someone is searching for your product or services, there is a direct relationship between what they are searching for and your credibility with the search engines. If you are ranking high, your ad will pop up immediately when someone searches for SEO terms you have employed accurately (and with credibility). Remember, ads are directly linked with key words the person is searching for.
An Example of Effective SEO for Local Businesses
Imagine someone looking for a particular product or service in a city the size of Seattle where there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of other businesses in the greater Seattle area in direct competition with you. Here is where the best local SEO tips for Seattle businesses would include optimized content with inbound and outbound links and being listed on at least two of the major listing sites. If your business is recognized as a site of authority and linked to local listings online, you are one step ahead of the game.
Effective use of SEO for local businesses in Seattle, for example, can bring the traffic in. Now it is your job to make the sale.