The Best Practice Local SEO for Your Business in 2012
I have just read my New Years message from last year and got to thinking so much has changed in the Local SEO field, but at the same time nothing has really changed at all. We have just celebrated the Chinese New Year for 2555 here in Bangkok so I thought it was about time I got my skates on and my pen out!
So while the western world economy continues to stumble along, out here in Asia where I’m writing from, the economy is still growing despite natural disasters and the like.
After living and working on client Local SEO from Bangkok for nearly a year now, I really noticed how far behind business are here with their online presence. I can’t quote figures but very few local businesses have websites here, yet alone claimed there Google Place page. Believe me trying to check out a restaurant online is sometime next to impossible (it’s a tough life I lead!) There’s definitely a huge opportunity for web design companies here.
What the area lacks in websites, can’t be said for smartphones and iPads. You can’t move around Siam Square or on the Skytrain for them. Marketing for this young upwardly mobile population is the way to go! (This is only my opinion based on observations in Bangkok and other metropolitan areas. I would love to see some figures too, believe me!)
Local SEO is hotting up in the West
Last year we saw some radical changes from Google that saw some websites disappearing from the face of the earth. It’s safe to say that content is still King. Writing unique, quality content for your website or blog and posting on a regular basis should still be the foundation of your local SEO. The competition amongst local business all competing for the top spots on Google is getting fierce. We’ve seen all manner of dodgy tricks employed by some SEO companies trying to get there clients to the number position in SERP’s. Download Google’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization here.
The best advice I could give to any local business website owner would be to ensure you have great Local SEO content on your site, update regularly and be social. Yes it takes a little time, but it’s time worth investing in your company and your customers that will pay off for years to come. Don’t look for the quick fix, employing a SEO company to build you 4000 backlinks. Get the basics right on your site first and then engage with your prospects and customer using Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Foursquare. No one is more passionate and knowledgeable about your business than you! Spend 20 minutes each morning updating these social networks, answering questions and leaving comments. You can do this while enjoying a refreshing cup of tea, you may even enjoy it and you will definitely start to enjoy the benefits it brings to your business as it grows and you get to know your customers and vice-versa.
Encourage, cajole or incentivize your customers to use your products and services instead of your competitors:
1) Use ‘check in’ with Facebook Places. Each time your customers checks in to your business, they will broadcast your business and location to all their friends. Instant viral marketing at it’s finest!
2) Make a ‘special’ for Foursquare so you can be easily found by all those mobile young things looking for a 2-4-1 offer at lunch or ‘exclusive happy hour’ from 6pm. Remember it only takes a few minutes a day. You see tea is good for you… and your business!
3) Claim your Google Place Page and complete it fully with your business name, address and telephone number. Then add more information about your company and a coupon to drive traffic to your site or physical location.
2012 will see mobile marketing come to the fore. Ensure your website is mobile friendly and you are using video to market your business and get multiple listings for your business on the first page of searches. Everyone has a smartphone now days and can view the web from just about anywhere. The trick is to make sure it’s your website, your google place and your videos that are getting views. Better still start using a text messaging service to send SMS directly to your customers. Having a slow night at your restaurant? Ping! You just sent a text message to all your customers informing them of ” today’s special offer’ you’ll never have a slow night again!
We believe in this low cost, direct marketing so much we will shortly be announcing our own SMS service for the UK market. So keep your eyes and ears peeled for the forthcoming announcement and launch.
So, I said I would let you into the secret why I haven’t posted for a while at the beginning of this article. Well, I’ve been working 13 – 16 hour days on a number of projects to help even more local businesses succeed online and to ultimately get more customers and more profits. Not only are we launching our SMS Marketing Service in the very near future but we will also be announcing our own membership site.
I’ve been in the fortunate position where I have been able to mentor a number of people in the fine arts of local SEO over the last year or so. I’ve seen the positive transformation this has had on them personally and in their businesses and naturally wanted to take it to the next level and share my knowledge with others who want to take action and create a better life for themselves and their families, it’s very rewarding. So at Blend Local Search Marketing we have been quietly but diligently, building a membership site and breaking down all our proven local SEO strategies into easy to follow guides. These will be available in written, audio and video formats. It’s taking longer than we anticipated but we are perfectionists and really want to over deliver, so our members really can benefit from them and see results fast. There will also be a forum in the members area so like minded business owners can network with us and each other. We are adding our amazing inventory of resources designed to save you hours of your time everyday. Again check back here or on our Facebook Page for the big announcement.
And if you thought two major projects wasn’t enough… we have a 3rd! We will also be announcing the 1st Blend Online Business Marketing Awards in the very near future but it’s all a bit hush-hush at the moment. And a 4th – our Free 30 page information packed online resource ebook will shortly hit viral bookshelves. Register here for an advanced copy with ebook as the subject line.
In the second half of the year we will also be announcing our exclusive Local SEO training seminars. These will be week long events for a small select group of marketing managers and business owners, to join us at one of the most exclusive hotels and resorts in Thailand to get our personal Local SEO training and mentoring. Our exclusive guest will also enjoy our business breakfasts, golf at some of the regions most desirable clubs, use of the resorts catamaran, 7 swimming pools and all the floodlit tennis courts and award winning spa facilities. You will enjoy 5 star treatment from when you land at Thailand’s International Airport until you have to leave (you may not want too!) To register your interest leave your details here with Seminar in the subject line.
So in summary I would like to say lets stop listening to all the stories of doom and gloom, stop living in fear, fear is corrosive and leads to failure! Now is the time to take a positive outlook on life and your business, it’s time to stand up and take action. 2012 is the year to be connected and be social.
My crack Local SEO team and I would love to help you in anyway we can.
Your thought, comments and questions are welcome.
See you around soon,
Local SEO in 2012