If your business has a physical location and could benefit from some effective local SEO tactics, this post is for you. Are you using hyperlocal resources to attract more customers to your brick and mortar location?
Hyperlocal (sometimes spelled hyper local) resources are those websites and web content that are specific to your city or neighborhood. Some hyperlocal resources include directories and review sites — anywhere you can get information about your business in a context specific to your geographic location. This is as important for search engines as it is for human readers looking for a local store or restaurant to patronize.
One of the main goals (and first tasks) of hyperlocal optimization is to standardize your business’ NAP — its name, address and phone number — across all the web directories and any other online channels where your NAP appears. It must be consistent not only for the sake of not confusing your customers, but also so that search engines can identify all the signals that point to your site.
So if you’re a business with a local presence, make sure you’ve taken advantage of these basic hyperlocal techniques to improve your local search results:
Register your business with Google+, Bing Places and Yahoo Local Listing, and get verified. This helps search engines understand exactly where you’re located, so they don’t have to try to piece that together from your web content.
After you’ve registered and verified with the three major directories above, move on to other local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Best of the Web. You can use a free Moz tool called Get Listed to quickly find out if your website is already listed there. Even if it is listed, you need to go through those listings to make sure your NAP data is consistent.
Once your site is registered and verified with both the major and the secondary directories, you might want to have your business information submitted to local data aggregators such as Foursquare, Factual, Infogroup and similar aggregators. Although it isn’t a free service like the individual directory listings themselves are, a service like Moz Local can help you successfully push your directory listings through to the major data aggregators.
To go really hyperlocal, you can try this trick to find even more directories: Do a local web search using a popular competitor’s complete NAP data — exact name, address and phone number — all inside quotation marks. If this search returns listings for local directories you hadn’t heard of, you can approach those directories about how to get listed with them.
Call or email local businesses in related industries to yours and find out if you can be included on their website as a local resource. That’s good old-fashioned networking, and sometimes it gets excellent results!
Performing these many steps isn’t as hard as it may look, but it does take time. You might want to outsource this hyperlocal to-do list to your SEO company or another third party — but do make sure it gets done.
No matter how many of these hyperlocal techniques you try, or whether you use a third party consultant or the DIY approach, the idea behind all of them is to get your website found in local search results for your industry and your geographic location. And that starts with keeping your NAP data updated and consistent everywhere it appears on the web.