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Local SEO for Austin – Four Points – Lakeway – Steiner Ranch
        Article by Local SEO Company Semantic Advantage, Inc.  (c) August 2013

Professional Local SEO Services – Austin, TX
(Including Zip Codes in Central Austin 78701 78702 and suburbs 78734 78732 78734 78746 78759)

austin-seo-localLocal search optimization is becoming increasingly important, particularly for companies offering consumer products and services. As with organic search marketing, pay-per-click campaigns and display advertising, your company is engaged in a daily local SEO competition with other businesses in your industry and geographical area. A restaurant, salon, retail store or home services company that doesn’t show up when a prospective customer searches Google, Yelp, Facebook or Angie’s List is going to lose business to competitors that have invested in professional local SEO services.

If your business is located in a well-known part of a large city, it may be advantageous to focus your strategy on that specific neighborhood. Of course, it’s important to evaluate the usual search engine optimization trade-offs of focus vs. traffic volume. For example, it may be easier to attain Page One ranking (or top Google Places or Yelp position) for Lakeway restaurant, Four Points hair salon or Steiner Ranch realtor than for the analogous Austin searches -- but the traffic volumes for those keywords may not justify this approach. A professional local SEO company can conduct a thorough keyword research effort to assess these traffic volumes and the competitive environment, to ensure your online marketing program targets the most productive keywords.

Example: Local SEO in the Lakeway - Four Points - Steiner Ranch area

Lakeway, Steiner Ranch and Four Points are communities in the west Austin suburbs. Lakeway (Zip Code 78734) has a population of about 12,000; Steiner Ranch (78732) ~15,000 and Four Points (also 78732) around 8,500. Interestingly, the search volumes (U.S. searches/month) for keyword phrases containing these community names do not correlate with their populations:

Keyword Augmentation for Local SEO Keyword

 Root Keyword
  + austin
 + lakeway
 + four points
 + steiner ranch
 restaurant  480
  30
 <10
  30
 hair salon
 110   20
 <10
 <10
 luxury homes
 210
 <10
 <10
 <10
 ac repair
 260  <10  <10  <10

While Four Points-related searches generally received the least traffic (as expected), the least populous Lakeway received the most. Steiner Ranch did well in the restaurant search primarily because of the popular Steiner Ranch Steakhouse which undoubtedly accounts for nearly all of this search volume.

NOTE: The fact that there are <10 searches per month for a given keyword does not mean this is an unproductive search term for your company’s local SEO campaign. In aggregate, a few dozen of these ‘long-tail’ search terms can generate hundreds of searches per month – a pretty good traffic stream for a small business. And this Short Tail Strategy makes it relatively easy to get a high placement on Google Places (as well as the Google organic results); you won’t be getting competition from all those downtown Austin businesses for search terms like ‘Four Points restaurants’, ‘Steiner Ranch ac repair’ or ‘Lakeway hair salons’.

Tips for Local Search Engine Optimization

local-search-optimizationMost of the major search engines have altered their search engine results pages (SERPs) layouts to incorporate images, videos, ‘personalization’ -- and local search results – on Page One that would not appear there according to their normal organic search algorithms. At the same time, they have also increased their ranking algorithms’ weighting of social media and ratings/reviews site pages, making these key targets for your products, services and local SEO effort. To be competitive, it is imperative that companies have optimized profiles and reviews on Google+ Local, Yahoo Local and Facebook -- as well as business directories like CitySearch, Manta, MerchantCircle and YellowPages.

Here are some general recommendations and tips for Local SEO:

  1. Analyze the competition. Begin by doing Google, Bing and Facebook searches using search terms relevant to your business. Note who your competitors are and assess their websites, social media sites, ratings/reviews sites. Generally speaking, to get ahead of a rival in the local SEO competition, you will need a bigger/better website, better search optimization (website, social media and ratings/reviews profiles), more/better reviews, and more links to those reviews.

  2. Research keyword search volumes and choose target keywords accordingly. The key here is to pick local seo battles your company can win by focusing on relevant long-tail keywords. As the above example illustrates, you don’t need an ‘Austin’-oriented local SEO program; focusing on Steiner Ranch, Lakeway and Four Points can bring you plenty of traffic.

  3. Evaluate Zip Codes in your keyword research. These are particularly useful for city/neighborhood names that are long or difficult to spell -- people will often use the Zip Code instead. In the examples above you may be able to enhance your company's local seo by including this in copy and meta tags, i.e. 'restaurant in Lakeway 78734', Steiner Ranch real estate 78734', or 'dry cleaners near Four Points 78732'.  

  4. Utilize a mixed Short-Tail/Long-Tail local SEO strategy. The combination of a few short-tail keywords and lots of long-tail search terms is generally the most cost-effective strategy.

  5. Optimize your listing profiles in the major business directories, social media sites and industry-specific ratings/review sites. By ‘optimize’ we mean create SEO-enhanced profiles, images and links (where available).

Semantic Advantage – Local SEO Company -- Lakeway Area

local-business-seo-servicesBusinesses looking for local seo services should consider a variety of factors in selecting an agency or consultant. It’s best if the local SEO company has experience within your business locale, industry and the ratings/review platforms specific to that industry (e.g., Yelp, Urbanspoon and Google+ Local search optimization for the restaurant industry). As with SEM/PPC programs, display advertising and organic search optimization, local search marketing is a highly technical discipline; and most small business are better off engaging a local SEO services agency to design and implement these programs.

In the process of enhancing your local search rankings, a professional local SEO company can also increase your exposure on popular ratings/reviews sites, business directories and social media sites – providing new avenues for customers to find your business. This is particularly true for certain kinds of products and services like restaurants (where consumers may prefer to search on Yelp or Urbanspoon instead of Google or Facebook), home services (where Yelp and Angie’s List are popular) and B2B services (where customers may elect to search on LinkedIn or an industry-specific business directory). In Austin the best local SEO services companies will also target high traffic online news sites, community bulletin boards and blog sites.

It’s really easy to find a company that’s good at this – just Google ‘austin local seo company’ (substitute the name of your town or community) -- or ‘austin local seo services’. An agency purporting to be expert at local search engine optimization should show up on the first page of the SERPs – ideally at the top of the Google Places listings – and should also rank well in the regular organic results. This is an excellent example of Eating Your Own Dog Food: If a prospective local seo company can’t get themselves to the top of the rankings, what confidence can you have that they can do this for your business?

Contact Semantic Advantage today for more information about how our Local Search Engine Optimization Services can enhance your search rankings and website traffic on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook and Yelp.

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