7 Tips for Getting More Local Website Traffic

Optimizing For Local Search Engine Rankings

Establishing a strong web presence is a challenge that every business owner faces. For small businesses in particular, generating local traffic is key. Local customers provide the support that small businesses need to keep going, which makes optimizing your website for local search engine rankings even more important.

1) Find Reliable Hosting
Before you start any website project, you need a reliable place to host it. Look for a hosting service that provides enough bandwidth to support site pages, the types of media you’re planning to use and the amount of traffic you’re expecting to get. Without this, your site is likely to go down without warning. Downtime means disappointed customers and losses in sales.

2) Optimize for Local Keywords
You already know how important keywords are for SEO, but have you put effort into ranking for local keywords? Customers in your area are likely to use some kind of location-based term when searching for local products and services. If you’re a cookie company in Vermont, for example, don’t just optimize for “fresh cookies.” Try phrases such as “fresh cookies in Vermont” or “homemade cookies in Montpelier.” Incorporate these phrases into your website text, page titles and meta description tags in a way that flows naturally.

3) Include Location
Putting your business address and contact information somewhere prominent on your front page makes it easy for customers to get in touch with you. Putting it on all of your pages alerts search engines to where you are and can help deliver more useful results in location-based searches. While you’re at it, why not embed a map as well? That way, customers can see exactly where your business is in relation to their own locations and find you more easily.

4) Get Listed on Local Directories
There are many online directories that allow you to list your business along with contact information, photos and sometimes even videos. Getting your business on Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Superpages and other local search directories verifies that you’re in business and lets you update your listings whenever necessary. Being listed can also give your search rankings a boost over and above the competition.

5) Local Linking
A good network of relevant backlinks helps to show search engines that your site is of high quality and worth crawling. Local backlinks from sources such as other businesses, local resource listings and pages for special community events give your company local credibility. Seek out a variety of links that will help establish your identity. When others link to you, make sure that they do so in a way that incorporates your highest-performing local keywords.

6) Use Social Media
People love to share where they’ve been and what they liked about it, and this is where social media comes in handy for small businesses. On Facebook, for example, business Pages put location, hours and contact information right near the top. When users “like” your page, the action shows up in their news feeds for their networks to see. You can also target important updates to specific locations, so it’s easy to let followers in your community know about limited-time sales, special offers and other location-specific events.

7) Gather User Reviews
On many search directories, customers can leave reviews of their favorite businesses. You won’t have any direct control over whether these reviews are positive or negative, but the feedback you get will help you make business decisions to better serve your customers in the future. Some sites allow you to reply to user reviews, giving you a chance to ask questions, resolve problems and establish yourself as a reliable presence in the community.

Making sure that your business website is designed to draw local traffic is worth the necessary time and effort. Local traffic not only brings in customers from around the community; it also boosts your reputation in nearby areas by generating Internet buzz and increasing consumer feedback. Local traffic has the potential to boost sales and raise brand awareness in the areas that are most important to your marketing efforts.

Comments

About Sarah Tharp
Sarah Tharp is the Director of Online Marketing for Brain Host, a web hosting company based in Ohio that specializes in providing affordable and professional websites. Sarah has several years of online marketing experience including social media, SEO, SEM, email marketing and content creation.
There are 7 Comments. Add Yours.
  1. This is just becoming a fulltime job google is not making it easy with changing the rules all the time. Thank you for your information. I am still trying to get on local places for the term Bookkeeping.

  2. Norm

    You forgot the best local directory/citation and inbound followed link you can get! – The Better Business Bureau’s!
    Research their Domain Authority, link juice, trust rank, etc…

  3. Hi Sarah,
    You are covered almost all techniques for driving local website traffic which are most effective methods but i think you are missed – ‘Ads Posting/Classified Posting’ which is most powerful off SEO activity in driving huge local website traffic and increase sell.

  4. Some of the mapping entities are slow to respond to corrections. If they will at all. IE – The version of our website first assembled (prior to my employment) was through one of the national telecoms. And tied to their full slate of advertising/marketing, including maps, etc. (AT$T I think.) Under the original naming, licensing, etc. the person who set up the map located us wrongly. The domain was parked when the contract with the telecom expired but the license won’t expire for another year… and in the meantime, any company using a map coming from YP or AT&T will get a map showing us 15 miles away. No matter how many emails or calls I’ve made, the answer is the same… I’ll have to go around and correct all the ‘listings’ that happened to use that source for a map until the original license expires because they don’t actually ‘build the map’ they just work with what YP gives them. You’d be surprised at whom owns what… and whos buying what info from where.

    Grrr. I’ve gotten BING google yahoo yelp AT&T etc. maps located and taken care of but every time some company wants to start cold calling companies and brag about their seo skills or ppc schema… they pull the map from the ‘Largest most reliable’ or “most convenient” mailing lists… and publish it willy nilly… and it turns out to be the WRONG map, with us located 15 miles NORTH of here, 8 miles out of town.

    To make it more frustrating, it’s obviously a machine generated listing, as each time this happens, our listing… on a County Road… and USPS’ed as CR2240… appears as “Country Place”.

    So here we go, with a non-exstant address shown and a map of some other area tied to our company name again. Being passed around. Nationally. Competing with the CORRECTED version.

    Check your map for accuracy and OWN it. Don’t count on your provider, your host, Yahoo, or anybody else to do it FOR you.

  5. Marlene

    You most likely chose your business because it’s something you like to do or it is easy for you to do. Learning how to promote your business online will not take you away from what you love to do most. There are a few things that you can do to help get your business to the top of the search engine rankings so that customers in your region can find you easier. Most people do not even remember what the “Yellow Pages” were: their search for a local business or contractor will begin and end online. Claim Your Business Google Places, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, and Yelp all have listings of local businesses. It is very likely that your business is already listed and all you need to do is claim it and go through the verification process on the site. You can also update all the contact information here as well as add pictures. Establish a Blog Since search engines love to go for fresh content, establishing a business related blog is essential. Put fresh content up at least a couple of times a week. Include topics that will be informative to customers. You can help them choose between products, like paint colors or types of flooring . Or explain how a particular product works or is used. Just keep it fresh.

  6. What’s the best way to get on the User Reviews radar?

  7. this is not easy at all. it need lots of hard work and follow up. but still i did not get the best way to attract viewers even though the website content could be rich and useful.

What do you think? Respond.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>