by Ben Hollom

It is often difficult for small businesses to compete with large companies when it comes to search rankings and SEO in general, regardless of how brilliant a small business may be. However, optimising a company´s local search strategy can give small businesses a chance to improve their search engine performance, Business 2 Community claims.

The first thing to remember about local search is that it works best for attracting customers that use mobile devices. This means that if businesses can optimise their site using keywords often preferred by mobile users, they can gain an advantage over competitors and draw in new customers.

Another key step in improving a local SEO strategy is diversification of the online presence a business has. For instance, even though Google+ Local is a major tool for local SEO, relying on it exclusively can close off opportunities. In addition, it can also be risky because if something happens to a brand´s Google+ listing, the entire campaign will be ruined. In order to stay safe, SEO experts advise that companies also establish a presence on Yahoo Local and Bing Local.

Social media is another major factor for local campaigns. Using big platforms like Facebook or more niche ones like Pinterest depends on the brand´s customer base, but they are equally useful for interacting with users. Facebook recommends that small businesses use Graph Search by creating different pages for various locations, so that they can reach various areas and consumers. If businesses manage to engage users to “Like” their page more, their visibility will improve, so Facebook advises brands to introduce simple incentives for users to click on the “Like” button.

Ben Hollom

February 20, 2013