Local SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) is one of the best ways to get local visitors (traffic) to your website. If you incorporate “on-site” and “off-site” optimization techniques, as well as choose and use keywords carefully, your website can gain high search engine rankings.

Full search engine optimization is a very detailed, extensive process that includes many different techniques to help websites show up higher in the search results for many different keyword terms and phrases.

However, implementing just a few local SEO strategies can work effectively in helping you get higher rankings in your local area where you want them if you serve local customers.

How do the search engines work? Well, let’s assume that you are a dentist based in Birmingham. Someone in Birmingham is looking for a dentist, so they go to Google or another search engine and type in terms related to the specific dental services they’re looking for.

For instance:

Emergency Dentist in Birmingham

Cosmetic Dentist  Birmingham

Birmingham Teeth Whitening

People will enter specific search terms and in order to get in front of them, it’s simply a matter of making sure your website is properly optimized for these keywords and search terms.  Since your goal is to attract local consumers, be sure to focus on “local” keywords only.

This means that your keywords should include your location. There is no sense ranking globally for ‘dentist’ if you only operate in Birmingham, right? It is a waste of time and effort.

A little Local SEO may seem like a daunting task, but it will definitely pay off in the long run if you do it right. This traffic boosting method has proven to help businesses truly see a return on their investment due to the increase in targeted traffic.

Here are a few simple on-site Local SEO tips:

  • Create web pages focused around each of your targeted keywords; this will help these individual pages show up easier in the search results for each term.
  • Create keyworded page and article titles. Don’t forget to to use keywords in your tags.
  • The content that you post on your site should be unique and of a high quality. Not only will this attract the search engines, but it will also engage your visitors and keep them coming back.
  • Include your street address, postal code, local phone number, and any other “locator” criteria to help the search engines validate your location. The search engines do not know anything until you tell them.
  • Embed a Google Map on your website to help the search engines establish your location, which will increase your chances of ranking higher for location-based keyword terms.

In addition, don’t forget about “off-site” optimization techniques. This simply means make sure that you have a significant number of inbound links from highly respected external websites. You may be wondering how to get these links. One way is to do regular press releases and share them with both major and minor news outlets. Another way is is to guest blog.  Go to Google and type in “guest blogs” and your “industry”. With this technique make sure that you only create truly useful, truly compelling, truly unique content.