A lot of small companies and organizations will not try organic SEO because they feel the keywords that they are trying to promote are too competitive. The only option they see is to use an adwords campaign.
While adwords campaigns can be effective, they cannot replace organic results, which are considered more trustworthy by users and can give you better results.
If you have a physical store, office or business location, local SEO can give you a great solution for this problem, even for competitive keywords.
What is Local SEO and how it can be used to promote your Business
For some product or service related searches you will see, normally above the regular organic results, the local results. Those include the names, addresses and Google + for business links.
This basically means that for some searches local results will be better than the general organic results and improve the chances of your business to get noticed.
Let’s say that you have a T-Shirt store located in Jersey City, New Jersey. If you check any keyword that’s related to T-Shirts you will discover that it is very competitive.
Any organic SEO effort will have to involve many months of hard work and a very high budget. In other words, for a small store with a limited budget it will be virtually impossible to be anywhere near the first page results.
On the other hand, if you invest enough time and energy in creating an optimized local listing, you will have a good chance to be featured somewhere on the local results at the top of the page.
Unlike adwords campaigns, claiming your Google local listing is absolutely free, so if you really think about it, you can get an even better exposure than the one you would have gotten by using adwords absolutely free.
Claiming your Listing
The first thing that you will need to do is to claim your Google places for business listing. You can use this link in order to get the process going.
You will need to work with a gmail or email account that you feel comfortable enough with to permanently associate with your Google places for business account.
You will be guided through some simple steps that will allow you to claim your business listing and manage it. These include phone of postcard code confirmations.
Using Google + for Business
Bear in mind that Google now associates most local listings with a Google + account. In other words, creating a business Google + page and associating it with your webpage has now become very important.
Invest some time in thinking about the best business descriptions and categories that you feel will be most appropriate and will work best for you.
Your Google + for business page should become an active place that will concentrate interesting posts, images of your products and anything else that you think people may be interested in and may be sharing and recommending to their friends.
This activity, if done regularly, updated and properly associated with your local listing will get noticed by Google and in time will help your business to be featured in the relevant local search results for your area.
Doron Heifetz is the owner and promoter of several successful online jewelry services such as the bridesmaids gifts website, and has been blogging and writing about jewelry design and small business SEO for many years.