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article imageOp-Ed: 6 Ways to put your business at the forefront of LSEO

By Anna Johansson     Jul 23, 2013 in Business
LSEO is something that is relatively new but becoming increasingly important for small business - here are some tips for mastering it.
Localized search engine optimization (LSEO) is picking up steam as more businesses understand the benefits. Basically, it takes SEO to a local or even micro-local level. If you operate a doggie daycare in Portland, Oregon, you probably want to target people in a certain ZIP code or neighborhood -- not take an SEO approach that has people from Austin, Texas stumbling across your site in, say, Nova Scotia.
The rules of LSEO vs. SEO are a little different, but don't let that hang you up. Here are six ways to put your business at the forefront of LSEO.
1. It's still about content
The focus on content and SEO will never go away. But you do need to consider just what kind of content is best to transfer SEO to LSEO. The inclusion of neighborhoods, cities, and local lingo can help you target your demographic more effectively.
Otherwise, the approach is pretty much the same. You'll need to pinpoint keywords via tools like Google Adwords and check out the competition to see how they're doing with key phrases.
2. Slang matters
You know right away if content was written by someone local because the personalities of cities shine through sooner or later in the writing. A neighborhood might be called one thing on Google Maps, but it's common knowledge among those who actually live there that it goes by something else.
This is why it's key to use a writer whose local or a company that specializes in researching and showcasing localized content.
3. Remember local listings
When it comes to making your SEO sites searchable, don't forget about local listings. Spend some time discovering where potential customers in this particular market go online for help, such as Yelp, and focus your efforts there. If you're not sure how to identify these sites, that's when professional help may be necessary. You don't want to put time and effort into something totally off base.
4. Google citations
Accuracy is key when going LSEO, and you can't skimp when it comes to managing Google citations. These are a collection of your online business information gathered from various sources. Google might have an old address, email, or phone number; it's your job to update that. It's easy to forget about an old blog that has incorrect info, but SEO never forgets.
5. SEO includes images
Recently, images and videos have become a crucial part of SEO ... which means they're a crucial part of LSEO. More viewers are interested in checking out an image than reading content, so just because your content gets you a top ranking in search engine results doesn't necessarily mean people are reading it. Go local with images and videos, too, for a double whammy.
6. Use Google Places
Some SEO experts swear that Google Places is a driving force behind LSEO. Foursquare is another must for going local.
But don't go for either of these sites willy nilly. Make sure all the descriptors are filled out on Google Places and that the contact information is correct. It won't be a very useful tool if the information is missing or outdated.
7. Responsive design
No matter what type of SEO you're targeting, make sure responsive design is part of the picture. More people are using mobile devices to access websites, and you need to be sure that your websites load quickly and look attractive on the latest smartphone as well as laptops. A good designer always approaches the job with responsive design in mind.
If this sounds like a lot of work, it certainly can be. Having professionals take care of your SEO and LSEO, as well as a slew of other technical musts, can actually save money in the long run. Plus, you're guaranteed fast, professional results.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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