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Local Search Optimization

Ken Gaebler

Ken Gaebler

Helping clients to do well in local search is a big part of our Chicago SEO consulting practice at Walker Sands.

I recently took a look at the Google Maps listing for a friend, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Steven R Hunter, and was impressed by what he had done without the help of an SEO consultant.

On his Google Maps page, he had completed most of the profile information, including things like Payment Accepted and Payment Options that many business owners don’t fill in. He had also uploaded a number of photos and had managed to get a few reviews as well.

I asked him whether he had been coached on SEO best practices prior to updating his Google local business profile and he said he had not. He said he was just trying to make the page as helpful as possible to somebody who was looking for a Chicago criminal defense lawyer and landed on his Google profile.

So, he had no formal training in SEO and had not hired an SEO consultant. But, remarkably, he had done many things that you are supposed to do to optimize a Google local business profile for SEO purposes.

As a result, he shows in the Google Maps 7-Pack for phrases like “chicago criminal attorney office” and the like.

The point here is that business owners who are interested in local search engine optimization for Chicago, and any other city for that matter, can do a lot for themselves by simply trying to help their customers. That means going to your Google local maps listing, your Yahoo listing, your SuperPages listing, your CitySearch listing, etc. and putting as much useful information on those pages as you can.

Think about it from the search engine’s perspective. Would they rather show somebody an empty sparse business profile with very little useful information or would they rather show somebody a thorough and thoughtful local business profile that is truly useful?

Obviously, all things being equal, they will rank you higher than your competition if you have a more complete business profile.

Mind you, there are still some good reasons to hire an SEO consulting company like Walker Sands to help with SEO. A good SEO consulting firm will know a few “tricks of the trade” that the layperson might not be aware of. Moreover, they will approach SEO systematically and aggressively, spending the necessary time, energy and expertise to bring a company to the top of local search engine results.

So, for my friend Steven R. Hunter, he’s done a great job by himself, but our Chicago SEO experts will help take him to a higher level in the months to come.

By the way, he’s a great Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney if you find yourself needing one in the near future.