A Guide to Local Search Engine Optimization

by WorkFromHome on December 9, 2011

Traditional SEO tries to get as much Internet traffic as possible from all over the world by ranking well for as many related search terms as possible. While this is great for people who want to work from home by monetizing a website, it’s not particularly useful for people who have their own business based on physical services. Instead, these people would rather use SEO to generate local leads for business. If you’re looking for localized web traffic to help build your profits, then there’s a special set of skills known as local search engine optimization that can help you. In what follows, we’re going to describe a method that you can follow to get new, local customers using the Internet. Once you have this method down pat, you can branch out and experiment with new ideas on your own.

Local SEO as a Business Itself

Before we get into the details of how local SEO works, we feel like it’s important to point out that local SEO can be extremely useful to you even if you don’t already work at home. One really great way to make money online while networking and building real life contacts is to offer local SEO services to businesses in your area. Generally speaking, you’ll also need to offer to build the company a website or to update it for SEO purposes, so you can either build this website yourself or outsource it and take a commission. This is a great business idea for people who would prefer to be their own boss without having to be stuck at home all day.

Generating Your Own Business Leads

Getting back on track, we’re going to focus now on generating local leads for your own business. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to this that we need to cover before we dive in. The advantages of doing your own local SEO are that you save money, you learn a lot about the process that you can use with future ventures, and you have complete control over what happens to your website. However, there are also disadvantages to doing it yourself. Working on local SEO takes away from time that you could spend doing other things, and you will be completely responsible for any mistakes that you make. With that aside, the first step towards generating your own local business leads using the Internet is to set up a website.

Choosing a Domain Name

We’re going to assume you already know how to purchase web hosting and a domain name and set up your nameservers. We aren’t going to waste your time by going over all of that here since there are so many good resources already available that can show you how to do it. However, what we are going to do is show you exactly how to choose a domain name for your business. Follow these guidelines when you’re picking out a domain name:

  • Include the name of your city or the closest city to you in your domain name.
  • Include a major keyword that people would use to search for someone who provides your services.
  • Only get a .com domain. Don’t bother with anything else.
  • Make it easy to remember.

Finding Your Target Keywords

For the sake of example, let’s suppose that you were a landscaper in Miami. The first few keyword phrases to target that come to mind might be “Miami landscaper,” “Miami landscaping,” and “landscaper in Miami.” Pick out two or three obvious keyword phrases and put them in a spreadsheet that will help you to keep up with all of your target keywords. Then go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and put in each keyword individually. This tool will output a list of up to 100 keywords at a time, and many of them you probably wouldn’t have thought of. For example, we searched for “Miami landscaper” in the tool and found “miami turf management.” Once you get a nice list of keywords, go through and find the 20 or 30 that you think will be the easiest to rank for. This group of 20 to 30 keywords will be the set of keyword phrases you target to start with.

How to Set Up the Website

Once you have your keyword list, you’re ready to go. The design of your website should be as follows. The home page should include contact information and details about your business, what you offer and what locations you offer it to. Then, there should be extra pages with one article on each page. Each article should be targeted to one of the target keyword phrases you found in the previous step. The idea is to pull in traffic for these localized keywords by using optimized articles to target specific keywords. The articles will act as a middleman between the search engine results page and your home page. Once you have your website set up, build links to your articles and watch your traffic grow.

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