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Need Local SEO? Here's Who I'd Start Talking To.

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!
What Is Local SEO And Why Do You Need It?
If your business offers products or services to your local community, you need Local SEO. If you belong to an organization whose mission revolves around a local issue or need, you need Local SEO. Even if your business has local, national and international customers, Local SEO can help you achieve maximum Internet visibility within your community.
Local Search Engine Optimization involves a set of on-page techniques and off-page efforts, the goal of which is to make your website as prominent as it can be in the major search engines and their various local components. For example, it will benefit your business to rank well both in Google’s organic results as well as within Google’s local entity – Google Maps.
A skilled local search engine optimizer will teach you about the steps required to optimize your website for your product/service + your local location and will perform this work on your site. They will then walk you through or take charge of getting your business listed in the various local business centers on the Internet. There are further activities which can increase your authority as the local place to go for what you offer, but what I’ve just outlined are the basic services good local SEOs offer.
The point of this work will be to improve your online visibility so that your business gets more traffic which will lead to more sales, more leads, more phone calls or whatever your main goal is. As ever more people to turn to the Internet to find resources within their own community, your business needs to be where they are looking!
Need Local Search Engine Optimization For Your Business?
I’d suggest you make contact with one of these guys first:
Mike Blumenthal in Olean, New York
David Mihm, currently in the SF East Bay but relocating this year to Portland, Oregon
Andrew Shotland in Pleasanton, California
Will Scott of Search Influence in New Orleans, Louisiana
Tim of Convert Offline in Bergen County, New Jersey
And us, of course. We’re in the SF Bay Area, North Bay, Sonoma County, Wine Country or one of the other dozens of names applied to this region of California. We love Local SEO and would be happy to hear from you.
Coming soon, a series of interviews of these interesting people in Local Search!
Everyone on my list authors a blog where you can learn more about their local search pursuits and where you can get a feel for each of their personalities. I’m a firm believer in the importance of finding the perfect match for your specific needs, and I hope the above will assist you in finding a Local SEO with the skills and sincere interest in your business that you deserve. The upcoming interviews should help you feel a little better acquainted with each of these gentlemen, as well.
Does My Local SEO Need To Be Local?
Absolutely not. There is no reason why your Denver, Colorado restaurant needs to find an SEO in your own neighborhood. The fabulous thing about the Internet is that you can select your local search specialist from any place on the map. It may well be that the perfect Local SEO for your project lives across the country in Rhode Island. Hire him or her! Get the best for yourself. Local SEOs can use their skills for any business in any location. I do recommend, however, that you hire someone within your own country. He or she will be most conversant with the native language or lingo, with optimizing for country-specific results, and you won’t have to deal with international time zone confusion!
How Do I Know If My Local SEO Is Good?
I’ll answer this important question with a brief checklist I’d use if I was looking to hire a Local SEO.
1) They can show you other clients they have ranked for local search.
2) They communicate well. They explain to you exactly what they are doing. They don’t need to turn you into a local SEO – that’s their expertise – but you should at least understand why you need to add your business to Google’s LBC after they explain it to you.
3) They have a contract you both sign.
4) They have time for you. Your needs are attended to with reasonable promptness. They give you clear estimates for how long it will take them to accomplish various tasks, and they make a good effort to keep within those time frames.
5) They never, never, never guarantee you top placement in the search engines, in the Google 10-Pack or any other search-related entity. If a Local SEO tells you, “I’ll make you #1,” walk away. Legitimate Local SEOs know they do not control the search engines. Their job is simply to undertake the optimization of your website with the goal of achieving the best results they can. Anyone who tells you differently is over-promising you something and you will end up disappointed.
6) Their fees require a genuine investment from you. If someone is offering to optimize your website for $20 a month, they are an amateur, a conman or crazy. You want a pro for this very important work. Expect to pay a professional rate for a service which may have such a tremendous impact on your local business’ success.
7) They are involved in their industry. This distinction is a finer one than the above criteria, and is based on my own personal preferences. I believe that Local SEOs who are passionate about their work are easy to spot because they cannot stop talking about what they do. They blog, they engage in forum and social media discussions and they talk to one another because they find their work exhilarating. If I were hiring a Local SEO, you can believe I’d be finding out where they hang out on the web.
At this point, Local SEO is still a fairly new skill set. It has branched off from mainstream SEO
as the major search engines have started to devote efforts to becoming local resources. All of us involved in this work are busily researching the facets and evolution we are witnessing in this exciting field, and putting the benefits of our discoveries to work for our clients. Hiring a good Local SEO is going to place you squarely within this new and important form of marketing your business.
I hope the above information will be of real use to your local business and that you will swing
by the SEOigloo blog again to catch our upcoming interviews with Local SEOs.
Special Note
I want to add to this that there are several people who write about Local Search topics whom I greatly admire, but who do not appear on my list above. Matt McGee and Bill Slawski spring instantly to mind, but I don’t believe either of these gentlemen are taking on projects outside of their official positions at the companies where they work. (Correct me, please, if I’m wrong about that, guys!). The goal of my list is to offer to small business owners the names of Local SEOs who are taking on direct client work.