If you’re a smaller business that was making full use of website promotion via search results particularly Google then you’ve probably noticed a dip in your search results ever since 2012’s Google Panda and (a few months later) Penguin updates. Although these corrections to Google’s famous search algorithm were meant to curtail widespread abuse of certain SEO tactics, they inevitably affected local search marketing services as well an unfortunate but necessary (in Google’s eyes anyway) instance of collateral damage.
All is not lost, however, and there are several powerful ways to take advantage of local search marketing services, using these techniques.
- Doing Something Socially Good in Your Community: Google search loves websites that are geared towards community and human readers, instead of heavily optimized content written purely for their spiders (robots that read code and text). Community involvement will raise your profile with people directly, as well.
- Join Your Local Business Community: This is an extension of the above. It gives you a chance to become known as an expert on your topic, and fellow members with whom you interact can spread the word about your services, which will have to be strong in order to stick. Remember: its about being at the top of your local niche, not the entire industry altogether.
- Make a Video: This is a tried and true method; people in general would rather watch well-made videos than read anyway. The medium allows for shorter presentations, without sacrificing content, and can be published across many different platforms i.e. blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
- Local Business Listings: So many people have migrated to the online forum that listings today are considerably less expensive with many free options despite drawing numerous visitors. It can be a valuable addition to an overall marketing plan, if you do it right. Optimize your listings for keywords you’re targeting; put all of your contact info on your listings; add photos of your business and geo-tag them; and pay attention to and respond to reviews, both positive and negative.
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing on Blogs: Few things harm a website with greater regularity post-Penguin than keyword stuffing; it just doesn’t allow a page to be read naturally, and search engines will penalize you for it.