As a business owner, you are already familiar with the importance of SEO. It’s an essential part of your online marketing efforts. However, you may be less familiar with the benefits of local SEO, so we would like to share with you the reasons why planning a local SEO strategy for your Toronto business is so important, as well as providing strategies you can use right away.

Reach business niches with local SEO

First of all, there are billions of websites in existence, and all of them are competing for audience exposure. But, you don’t need to reach all of the billions of people in the world. You only need to reach those people in your business’s niche—that is, the people who are interested in what your business provides and are likely to convert into sales.

Typical SEO already does a fairly good job of targeting your site to the people who are interested in your industry niche. Local SEO, however, focuses your efforts even tighter so that the leads most likely to convert are seeing your site the most. If you run a local Toronto business, you want people in the Toronto area to see your name come up in their search results, not the name of a business in New York. The idea is that local SEO puts you on SERP’s for the most relevant search users.

Make local places pages for major search engines

All of the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing, offer sign up forms to add your business to their local directory for your area. Signing up for these pages makes it easy for search users to find your basic business contact information, as well as a map to your physical location. When you depend upon local business, taking a few minutes to set up these accounts makes it much easier for locals to find you online.

Why does that matter? People are not just shopping online for items that need to be shipped from somewhere else. Many consumers are now making decisions about which restaurants, theaters, or other local retailers to frequent based on information available online. And, if they can get GPS directions to you right from the SERP, you make it easy for them to show up at your door.

The next step is simply to optimize your page for better search presence. The main thing to understand about this is providing the right information to your potential customers. That means posting your phone number, address, hours of operation, and services or products offered. These are the bare essentials. Other than that, providing high quality photos of your business or products provides a major boost in click-throughs and conversions.

Additionally, you will want to make sure that you categorize your business correctly on these pages. If you place your business under the wrong category, it will be extremely difficult for users to find you with their search queries. If you do not select a category, or if your category does not appropriately match your search keywords, you will not show up in the local search results for your industry.

Basically, this is a way for search engines to ensure that businesses are being found because they are actually what users are searching for, and not because they are putting themselves under popular categories to pop up “accidentally” in unrelated searches. It’s best for the search engine, the potential customer, and you for your business to be upfront and honest in your local SEO practices. Once you have everything in place, make it easy for your customers to boost your presence by placing a link on your website that asks them to review your business.

If you find your business already listed…

Don’t worry. It is possible that someone has cited your business and its location in local pages. All you need to do is claim your listing by verifying that you are indeed the legal owner of your business. Then, you can correct any information on your business listing. It’s important that you do this so potential customers are able to accurately find your business and contact information, and so that you have control over how your company is being listed and found by users.

TenPoint Solutions can help you get started with local SEO and optimize results for your online branding efforts. Contact our expert SEO team for more information.

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About the Author

Dan K