Local SEO, How to Get on Google’s First Page

Local SEO, How to Get on Google’s First Page

In the early days of the Internet, a whole world of possibilities and customers opened up. In fact, you could contact people from all over the globe. This led to people flocking online in droves expecting customers from all over the world. However it didn’t quite work out that way. While some companies do benefit from having a global customer base, your average small business is still looking for local customers.

Many small businesses, who are targeting local people only, often feel like they do not need to have a web presence, because they’re not trying to attract a global audience. However, last year $471 billion of off-line sales were made using online resources. That doesn’t mean that they were buying from a website; that means that they were using the Internet to research local businesses before they purchased from them.


If you’re a small business trying to attract local customers, then you need to be easily found online when your customers are looking for you. That is where local SEO comes into play. It’s never been easier to get on Google’s first page when you’re a local business looking for local customers. This is done through a combination of keywords and geo-targeting.

Keywords are words that people are looking for. For example, if you owned a beauty parlor, do you know if people are looking for a salon, a barbershop, a day spa, or a beauty parlor? By doing a little keyword research you can find out what they’re actually searching for. Using this precise word will optimize your return on investment when it comes to local SEO.

Geo targeting is a very specific type of keyword; it’s the keyword for your area. For example, if you know that people are looking for a salon, then you also know that they’re looking for one they can drive to easily. They know that if they just type in the word ‘salon’, they’re going to get lots of salons from all over the country or possibly all over the world. So instead of just the word ‘salon’, they’re going to type in the word ‘salon’ followed by the name of the town they would like it in. For example ‘salonWilton’ or ‘Wilton Salon’.

Just like with the word ‘salon’, it’s important to know what they’re actually searching for. Again, they might be searching on your town, the neighboring town, or even a county if you live in a small enough area.

Most people who search online are really looking for someplace local to go. This is true whether or not they’re looking for a salon, a pizza parlor, or even a retail store. In situations where differences in prices are negligible, local stores still have the advantage over Internet sites because of the instant gratification factor. Sometimes a person just wants this ‘thing’ right now and they’ll use a location based search term to find it.

Because you’re using specific words like ‘salon’ and ‘Wilton’ your competition is much less than for the word ‘salon’ alone. If you live in an area with a limited number of salons, or do very good SEO regarding your website then it’s entirely possible to not only get on the first page of Google but also get into one of the first three coveted slots. Local SEO is something every small business should have. Many times being on the first page of Google locally is the difference between getting new customers and not getting any. It’s never been easier to rank on the first page of Google when it comes to local businesses and at no other time in our history has it been so important.

Adam Chronister is director and co-founder of Accelerated Freelance, an award winning Spokane SEO Firm. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

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