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Are You Localized?

There are far too many businesses that don't pay attention or take advantage of all of the local opportunities there are on the web. From location based services like Yelp to your Google or Bing local listing, you must give your website/business the opportunity to be visible to local searchers. In the past couple of months I have tried to check in to various restaurants that either had incorrect addresses on Yelp or just weren't on there all together.

What prompted me to post this today was an article on Search Engine Guide called Are You Ready for Auto SEO? I was a little thrown off by the title, as I thought they were talking about automatic SEO...it turns out the article was about automobile SEO. With computers in cars becoming more powerful, finding places while traveling will not be limited to categories on your navigation device, they will be using actual web searches and reading reviews from real people.

Local SEO

Make sure that if you have a brick-and-mortar operation you are using localities in yourSEO efforts. Not only the city or region, but also neighborhoods, street names and intersections. If you are a company that has a customer base that calls you frequently, think about including your phone number in your META description. I know you are looking to limit your calls with your website, but when it comes to local people still want to speak. It may be the factor that actually gets them through the door. Keep in mind that people are more on the go than they have ever been in the past. If they have to hunt for your contact info or location you will likely lose a customer.

Location Based Services

I am partial to Yelp, but the best practices here can be carried across a variety of platforms. First, Yelp does not list every business automatically, steps have to be taken first. Here is some more detailed information on Yelp for business owners. Make sure your business is there, if not follow the guidelines for each service on getting listed. Nearly all location based service is open to any brick and mortar operation. Pay attention to the reviews. Reply to your reviewers in both good and bad situations when applicable. Remember, we are starting to see more review based listings in your standard search results. Don't wait for them to review, ask them to review. If you have good service, it shouldn't be hard to get a good review. I expect this to be even more prevalent in the future for users searching from mobile and even your automobile.

Local Business Listings

Claim them! Make sure they are showing the correct information and again, pay attention to the reviews. Don't just expect that anyone searching locally will be using Google. Pay attention to your other local listings such as Bing, CitySlick, Yahoo Local, YellowPages etc. Not all of them require the same amount of attention, but they all need to be accurate. Visit and participate in as many as possible, most are even free.

People are on the Move

Mobile is much more than cellular devices...its a variety of mobile platforms, tablets, and now even cars. People aren't sitting in front of computers and printing anymore, they are waiting until the last minute and making a decision based on their location...from their mobile device. Help them out by giving them easy access to the information they need and help yourself out by getting more mobile web users through your doors.