local-search-engine-optimizationFinding cost efficient ways to spread the word about your dance studio could be one of the biggest challenges you may face. Online marketing is a great way to optimize locally for the cost of some of your time and effort. Let’s dive into some ways you can optimize your website for local search!

Improve Tags and Keywords

Make your dance studio website work for you locally. Be sure to optimize all of the local elements on your site with location specific keywords including cities, zip codes, regions and even street names. Your title tags, meta tag descriptions and meta tag keywords should reflect your location with keywords containing location modifiers. Here are some rules of thumb when handling these search engine optimization elements.

The title tag is so important because it is the first thing the user sees about your site and will absolutely effect your site’s search engine rankings. Most studios fall into the trap of simply using their studio name as their website title, but with the characters available for your title tag (up to 70 characters) you should use this space to display the ‘what’ and the ‘where’ of your business.

Original Title Tag: “Dolly Dinkle Studio

Updated Title Tag: “Dolly Dinkle Dance Studio | Cleveland, Ohio Dance Classes

To optimize this title tag, I took the above original tag and defined both what type of “studio” this business was, as well as, where this studio was located and what the studio offers.

Your meta tag description is not something that appears on your website, but along with the title tag is the first thing a user sees in regards to your website. While the meta tag description is not used by search engines to effect your rankings, it is where information is provided to users searching for services in under 150 characters. I look at a meta tag description as an informative advertisement for your website.

Original Meta Tag Description: “Dolly Dinkle Studio… Specializing in ballet, tap and jazz lessons with professional, certified instructors can teach you how to dance these styles in no

Updated Meta Tag Description: “Dolly Dinkle Dance Studio offers dance classes in Cleveland, Ohio. Learn the art of ballet, modern, tap and jazz with our professional dance instructors.

The most common meta tag description mistakes tend to be not having a meta tag description (which then allows the search engines to pull content directly from the site which usually gets cut off and may read awkwardly), having too many keywords in the meta tag description, or not having enough keywords. Per the updated meta tag description, you’ll see I’ve included the ‘what’, the ‘where’ and the services that are offered.

Lastly, your meta tag keywords should also be strategic in how they are crafted. While the meta tag keywords are considered to be the least important of all of the meta data from search engines, we still recommend optimizing for your most important keywords.

Original Meta Tag Keywords: “dolly dinkle, dolly dinkle studio, dance studio

Updated Meta Tag Keywords: “dolly dinkle dance studio, dance studio cleveland, dance class cleveland, dance lessons 44115

Meta tag keywords should contain between 4 and 10 keywords. Be sure to separate them with commas and make sure these keywords appear somewhere in the content of your site.

All of these meta tags should be different per each page of your website!

Clearly Display Business Info 

Display your business information clearly on your homepage, as well as, within the interior pages of your site. As a local business, you want people to be able to find your location so listing your studio’s address is pertinent along with clearly displaying your phone number  and even hours of operation.

Utilize Images and Videos

Showing a photo of your studio and videos of your classes can represent who you are as a business as well as take your local optimization to the next level. Here are some tips for boosting your local search optimizations with the images and videos on your site:

  • Utilize high quality photos on your site. While this may not effect your search engine rankings, you do want to make sure the images your use are professional and clean.
  • Optimize the file name of any photo or video on your site. Most times images saved on your computer are a photo number, date or some other mishmash of letters. Carefully craft your file name by including keywords and locations such as, “Dolly-Dinkle-Cleveland-Dance-Studio.jpg”.
  • Add descriptive ALT text to each of your photos and videos. ALT is basically the description of your photo as if a user could not see the image. Don’t forget to add a location in your description.
  • Include your optimized images across all of your local directories and your social profiles.

Submit Your Site to Local Directories

So many of your users are searching within the search engines to find locations for dance classes and more than likely they are going to stumble upon local business directory sites that list all of the studios in their area. If you haven’t submitted to the following sites you are missing out!

Google Places
YP (YellowPages)
Yahoo! Local
Find a Dance Studio

There are a ton more, but this is a great place to start!

Build Out Social Profiles

Along with the local directories, build out all of your social profiles including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram. Again, these are places that your students and parents live, when they aren’t in your classroom! Make sure you fill in every bit of information you can about your studio within these profiles including your address, phone number, hours of operation, services offered and even awards achieved.

With the above strategy you could gain so much more visibility online and increase the traffic reaching your site. Get help with your local search optimization with a professional today!

About the Author

To The Pointe specializes in dance marketing for studios, companies and professional dancers. Alison Krejny is both an online marketer and dance instructor. Get in touch with Alison!

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