The concept of location-based services, i.e. geo-social services, to aid SEOers seems senseless. After all, how could someone checking in or hosting a Yellow Pages profile help optimize a website in search engines? These are misconceptions, however, and here’s why.
Why You Should Utilize Location-Based Services to Optimize
Location-based services do the following. First, they increase traffic to your website. People want to save money in any economy, but particularly this one. Due to this, people are searching for deals on a daily basis, and use everything from Gowalla and Foursquare to Yelp and the Yellow pages to decide whether they want to shop or dine at your business.
Second, hosting a profile on as many of these sites as possible is important because it directly impacts SEO. Google crawlers, as well as other search engines’ crawlers, will crawl your profile on geo-social sites; this means your contact information, including your website’s URL, will be entered into search engine’s algorithms for determining where your website will be ranked on their search engine results pages.
How You Should Utilize Location-Based Services to Optimize
Now that you understand why using geo-social services is so important, here is how you can use them to optimize.
Jump on the Geo-Train
Add your profile to any and every geo-social service you can think of. Here is a quick list of the most popular:
# Google Places
# Urban Spoon
# Yellow Pages # Yelp
One of two situations will occur when you go to add your profile to these or any other location based service: 1) You will find that your profile already exists or 2) You will find no profile. If your profile already exists, claim it and add to or ensure that all of your data is correct, most importantly your location and website URL. If your profile doesn’t exist, create one and include as much information as possible.
Keep It Simple
Put yourself in the place of the consumer so that you can understand what kind of information they’re looking for. For example, if you own a restaurant, your location, website, contact information, and menu will be highly useful to your customers on geo-social services. Your company’s history will not. Keep your information simple and to the point.
Hosting a profile on geo-social sites isn’t enough; it’ll make the crawlers happy, but to drive traffic to your site and physical business, you’ll need to offer deals to customers who “check-in” with the various geo-services you participate in. Go through each of the geo-sites you’re taking part in and learn how to offer deals to your new and loyal customers. Deals will draw people in, encourage them to share both via the social app they’ve used to find your service, and encourage them to share with other social networks; all of this will put your business on “the map.”
Advertise Your Geo-Hipness
It never hurts to show your customers that you participate in a given geo-social service. Put up flyers in your establishment announcing which deals customers can take part in if they participate in the geo-social services you participate in. For instance, you may want to put up a flyer that states that you offer your pizza shop’s Foursquare Mayor a free appetizer every time he/she checks-in. Something like this will encourage people to check-in every time they visit your pizza shop, and this to you translates to free promotion and advertisement to current and potential customers and aid in optimizing your website.
Allison Dean jumped at the chance to bring us a guest post about geo-social service apps and how they can help you optimize your website for search engines. A blogger and writer who saw the need for an educational resource that laypersons could depend on when they had legal problems, Allison spends her professional life writing about medical malpractice cases.