Linkup marketing did a series of 25-minute ‘speed dating’ presentations on search engine optimization for beauty school owners at a conference last weekend. There were six presentations in total and by the end of the afternoon, one thing became very clear: the advice that they’ve been given in the past wasn’t honing in on a very crucial characteristic of their target audience – local.
These business owners were looking to attract locals but they’d missed out on some key aspects that could help them dominate their local searches. So, we decided to put down some very simple, yet effective, tips that we felt would help the local business in optimizing their websites.
#1 – Vertical search is your friend
Vertical search is a more specific version of online search. This applies to both industry-specific searches as well as the type of content. Research your industry-specific directories and get as many listings as you possibly can – the more the merrier. Some directories and search engines offer advertising opportunities or sponsored listings, but many simply offer a free listing as part of their service.
Also make sure to list your business on Google, Yahoo! and Bing. This gives you more visibility in the search results and offers additional information in your listing which makes your location more attractive to people searching for your services. For example, with Google Places you can utilize pictures, reviews and coupons in your company listing. Some of this is free and others will charge you for enhanced features.
If you haven’t already, get this started right away:
P.S. There are lots of other local search websites so don’t stop here! We’ve highlighted the big boys above, but you want to be everywhere so keep truckin’.
#2 – Use your location as part of your keyword optimization
If during your keyword research it is obvious that people are adding the location of the service that they seek into their search terms, you should be too! The best place to incorporate this is in the title tag of each page.
NOTE: Remember to incorporate the entire keyword phrase and to never use duplicate title tags even though you incorporate your location.
#3 – Make sure your address is on every page of your website
This is an easy one, but often overlooked! When search engines index your website, they’ll find your address and contact details on your pages and utilize this in serving up the websites they find as the best match.
So, when someone types in ‘Salon in Newport Beach, CA’ it will look for websites that look like they’re in ‘Newport Beach, CA.’ Hmmmm, makes sense to have that on your website prominently, right?
Multimedia is loved by all, especially Google.
Have you ever noticed that images and videos come up at the top when you search for something? Try it – search for a celebrity name and photos are the first thing that pops up. Same thing when you type in ‘salons’. Video is also king when it comes to search engines. So grab yourself a camera and snap/film away and upload it to every social hosting site out there, like YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, etc. Title the video with your location and ensure there is a URL in your profile that takes them to your website. Boom! Lots of link love for you.
These are some quick tips that you can implement almost immediately to help get more traffic from search engines. Since over 75% of web traffic starts from a search engine, it’s important that you focus on this as part of your strategy to attract new clients.
Until next time!