The SEO landscape evolved drastically in 2012 and local Atlanta businesses need to be well informed and well prepared to adapt their Atlanta SEO strategy in order to succeed in 2013.
Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing, over optimization, automated link building networks and thin content with little value. Now are the days of producing high-value content and social media engagement. Not adapting your 2013 local Atlanta SEO campaign to include these essential SEO strategies will spell doom to your company’s success in the search rankings in the months to come.
To ensure that your company succeeds with its Atlanta SEO objectives in 2013, be sure to include these mission-critical Atlanta SEO tips in your company’s plan of action.
Embrace Google+ Local
More and more Google search has catered to local searchers, offering them search results with local businesses, maps with pinpoints to locations of businesses that offer what they’re searching for. In 2012, Google made a push to include more social interaction in the local organic search results by integrating Google Places into its Google+ network.
Google+ Local search is going to have a huge impact for local businesses in 2013. Not getting on board and embracing Google+ as part of your local Atlanta SEO strategy and you’ll be ignoring a huge opportunity to reach more local consumers and drive more local search traffic to your site.
Google+ Local’s business listings are highly interactive for local searchers, allowing you to interact with them on a Facebook type level where you can share content, post deals and get feedback from users. It also happens that these Google+ Local business listings have taken the place of the old Google Places listings in the local organic search results.
In the example below, you can see a local search query for “Local SEO Marketing” … no reference whatsoever to Atlanta, GA, but Google has provided highly relevant Google+ local results (including our own Google+ Local listing.)
As a user, if you were to click on the name of our business, it would take you to our website. However, if you click on the “5 Google Reviews” link, it would take you to our Google+ Local page.
Did we mention that local Google search has integrated more social media into its results?
Another huge opportunity for businesses is the social recommendation (or +1) aspect of the Google+ social network. More and more users on Google+ are seeing personal endorsements of local businesses in their search results from other users in their Google+ Circles.
This personalization is incredibly powerful for businesses because as consumers, we rely on word of mouth recommendations and testimonials from people we trust before we make purchases. Google+ has now made this possible when searching on the web.
In the example below, you can see a local search query for “Auto Repair East Atlanta” with a personal Google+ endorsement of “excellent.” This is powerful stuff!
Claiming, optimizing and engaging customers (and encouraging them to leave reviews) with your Google+ Local listing will afford you a massive opportunity to gain an edge on your local competition.
When it Comes to Content, VALUE is Key
In what seems like a lifetime ago in the industry, it was long thought that search engine optimization and getting ranked near the top of the search results was as simple as stuffing your web pages with keywords and getting as many links back to your site as humanly (or by automated link building networks) as possible.
While that worked for SEOs in the past, those days are now history. Atlanta SEO in 2013 and for the foreseeable future will be all about creating highly valuable content that users want to read, watch, listen to, and SHARE with others.
With Google’s inclusion of social signals in its algorithm, writing highly valuable content that is share-worthy (and also gets linked to by other websites naturally) is going to greatly increase your chances of ranking higher and attracting more searchers to your website.
When it comes to creating valuable content, there are a couple of items you must take into consideration in your 2013 local Atlanta SEO strategy, including:
Outlining a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
Creating a content marketing strategy that disseminates your valuable web content through many different channels in order to reach web users is going to be incredibly important for local Atlanta businesses in 2013.
A content marketing strategy leads to greater inbound traffic, an increased visibility for your company’s brand with local consumers, higher rates of social interaction with your content, and also generates more natural links back to your website from users, which works to build greater credibility and authority for your website and in turn leads to higher local SEO rankings.
Keep Your Content Diverse
Web content comes in many, many forms but up until 2012, most local SEO consultants relied heavily on article marketing and blogging as their main strategy for content marketing. The end goal of this strategy was to build as many on-text keyword phrase links back to their clients’ sites to influence greater search rankings.
While this strategy still holds some value for local organic search, it’s now incredibly important to mix up the content that you produce into a variety of presentations to also include graphics, videos and audio. This will ensure you’re effectively reaching a wider range of web users who don’t just read articles or blogs to consume valuable content.
Diversifying your content marketing strategy in 2013 will lead to greater social sharing, more inbound traffic and greater exposure in the local Atlanta organic search results.
Network with other Local Atlanta Businesses
We can hear you thinking: “what good will networking with other businesses do for my local SEO strategy?” The answer is: Plenty!
By networking with local businesses in Atlanta (not necessarily competitors) that are in closely related industries, you can form a mutually beneficial agreement to help one another with your SEO efforts by offering valuable content to be posted on the other business’ blog in exchange for a link back to your site. This strategy is called Guest blogging and when it’s executed between closely related (contextually relevant) industry sites in the same local area that boosts your local relevance with the search engines.
So for example, if you operate a local Atlanta business that produces custom window blinds, it might behoove you to form an alliance with an Atlanta home builder or Realtor in Atlanta and offer up highly relevant content for their sites in exchange for a link back to yours.
Topics you might include for the home builder might be “Custom Finishes for Your New Home” or for the realtor might be “Interior Upgrades to Consider Before Putting Your Home on the Market.” Both article subjects are of high value to readers, high relevancy to your partner business, and include a geo-local link back to your website. It’s a win-win scenario.
Set Your Website Up for Success
Investing in a local search marketing strategy isn’t just something fun to do – especially for small businesses on limited budgets. When it comes to local SEO for small businesses, getting a RETURN for your investment is essential.
One of the most important factors for earning a return on your search marketing investment is to set your website up for optimal success so that it drives more conversions (conversion optimization.)
A few ways to improve your website’s conversion rates are:
- Making your website incredibly easy to use
- Integrating strong calls to action (Buy Now!, 20% Off Today!, etc.) or giveaways that entices users to convert
- Analyzing and split testing landing page copy and layout to improve conversion rates
Optimizing your website for conversions is an essential ingredient for a successful Atlanta SEO strategy, because what good is ranking well in the local search results if you’re not making any money off of it?
Your Takeaway for Atlanta SEO in 2013
What’s really important to keep in mind as your business looks to improve upon its local search optimization efforts in 2013 is that the landscape is wide open and there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for businesses who are early adopters of the latest local SEO strategies to succeed.
Understand the power of great content, social interaction and the influence that Google+ is going to have on how the masses search online in the years to come and get onboard with conducting SEO the right way in 2013.