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Targeting Local Customers? Social Media Strategies to Improve Local Search Visibility

Web Bureau


30 August 2012 by Web Bureau

In the past few weeks, we have run articles on “local search” and “social signals”, key areas that search engines such as Google are placing emphasis on at present. In this article, we examine how you can combine SEO and Social Media to improve your company’s visibility for local search terms.

How can Social Media Improve Your Local SEO Efforts?

It would be virtually impossible for a company to establish a presence on every social media platform, (keeping in mind that social media platforms describe any site that allo

ws and facilitates engagement between people and/or enables people to create user-generated content). With this in mind, this article will focus only on a few of the major players in the social media business.

Check out our top tips for locally optimising your social media profiles for SEO benefit:

Facebook and Twitter

•    Create a Facebook Local Business page. Ensure you complete your full address when setting up your page so that it can be indexed by the search engines.
•    Add locations to all of your posts. This will help the search engine crawlers determine the relevance of your location with regards to searchers’ queries.
•    Always set your location on your Twitter profile.
•    Use location specific keywords in you bio, for example, “We are a web design agency in Belfast”.
•    Identify, follow and interact. Going back to the idea of social signals, it is not enough to follow influential people or companies in your area. Increase your chances of climbing up the rankings by interacting with them.
•    If your competitors’ profiles are being ranked by the search engines, examine the words and the tactics they employ, and apply them to your own profile. This should also be extended to local companies outside of your industry.

LinkedIn

•    Add your location to your profile at every (relevant) opportunity. This means that your headline, summary, current and past positions should all feature your location but don’t sacrifice the legibility of your profile. After all the hard work you’ve put in to driving people to your profile the last thing you want to do is leave them with a bad impression.
•    Invite Email Connections – The best way to start building your LinkedIn connections is by importing your email connections into LinkedIn. LinkedIn will then allow you to invite anyone who is on LinkedIn to your network.
•    Join locally relevant groups and participate in discussions. After you have spent some time engaging in the local groups, you can start to connect with other members you have
interacted with.

Google-

•    Setting up a Google- account for your company and claiming your Google- Local listing is a sure-fire way to climb up the search rankings.
•    Make Sure Your Google- Profile is Publicly Visible – Click on your profile’s Edit Profile button and check to make sure that each section of your Google- profile is publicly visible. If your profile is not set to public, it will not show up in search results.

•    Add Local Google- Users to Circles – Use the Google- internal search to find local Google- users that might be interested in your business and connect with them by adding them to circles using your personal profile. Be sure to create a separate circle for local users so you can target status updates directly to them.
•    Interact with Local Connections – Interact with your local connections regularly. For those that share their public updates and allow everyone to comment upon them, this is a great way to gain additional exposure with a local audience.

General

•    Embed YouTube videos on your social media platforms.
•    Generate a “buzz” about your business across several social media sites. The more people that are talking about your company, the more Google will favour you – try to outperform your competitors in this aspect.

•    Go viral. This will help to increase the amount of results your company will generate in a search.
•    Use local news and current affairs.  If a local story is getting a lot of attention and you can make it relevant to your company, write about it on your blog or LinkedIn profile (if appropriate), post it on your Facebook wall and tweet about it.

The most important thing to remember is that Google and the other search engines’ top priority is to deliver the most relevant results to the user. If you can identify how to make yourself relevant to the search engines, you will generate traffic to your site.

Social signals are becoming increasingly important in search results, therefore combine a strong social media presence and expertly optimised social media platforms and you have infinite opportunities to climb up the search ranks and increase click-through traffic to your website. 

If you want to find out more about optimising your website or social media profiles for local search, contact one of our SEO experts at The Web Bureau today and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

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