Most small businesses offer their products and services to a specific geographic market. Being found quickly when someone is in need of your local services is critical to your success. Incorporating local SEO strategies into your marketing activities that complement your other online marketing is important to your business.
Traditionally local small businesses use a mix of local advertising, direct marketing, coupons and word of mouth marketing. Depending on your type of business, you may also use door hangers, flyers, truck lettering and site signs. These are all still valid marketing tactics that will help you become known in your geographic area.
But today’s consumer is using the Internet more often to search for and evaluate local businesses. And since 46% of Google searches are for local information, why not implement the following local SEO strategies and stack the deck in your favor?
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO extends organic SEO with a combination of online strategies to make your business more visible to those searching locally for products and services. These local SEO strategies include:
- Localize content on your website
- Google My Business listing
- Citations in business directories
- Online reviews
In a world where we are always on the go, we rely on our smartphones to find the information we need. Millions of us use local search every day to find the best local businesses in our area. You can help increase your chances of getting found by implementing local search strategies.
- Local search tips to outrank your competitors
- Create localized content for your website
- On-page SEO never loses importance. It just becomes more localized.
Starting with your website, make sure you optimize for local search results. Be consistent with your name, address and phone number on your website so that it matches the local citations that you will need to claim and manage.
Add towns and cities you service where appropriate. Always remember to write for the human first. By doing so, you will be providing a good user experience and content the search engines will love.
Claim and optimize your Google My Business page
If you want to be found in local search, claim and verify your Google My Business. According to Google itself, you can improve your local ranking by using Google My Business and creating a robust profile because whenever someone searches for a local business, Google displays results using the information it has in its database of local businesses.
Things to consider:
- Write a unique description for your business
- Choose the right categories
- Ensure your information is correct and up-to-date
- Add photos for your business
- Manage and respond to reviews
- Claim your profile short-name
- Use Google My Business Posts to post updates about your business in a similar way you post to your Facebook business page.
- Keep in mind that there is a lot of misinformation floating around as well. Don’t listen to those who tell you to use a PO box or stuff keywords in place of your business name. Create your account using real information. If your business has only one physical location and a service area, make sure that is how you create your listing.
- If you’re a local business, it is more important than ever to have a robust Google My Business page to increase your chances of appearing in the local search results. Claim and edit your business listing to help you rank for local searches.
Claim and manage local listings and citations
A local citation is any reference to your business that can be found online. In addition to Google My Business and Bing, citation sites include Facebook, Yelp, Yellowpages, Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other authoritative websites that may provide an online directory to businesses in your industry.
Obtain online reviews from your customers
Do whatever it takes to get online reviews from your best customers. In 2017, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses with 85% saying they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In addition, Yelp & Facebook are local consumers’ most trusted review sites, followed by Google & BBB.org.
If you aren’t implementing a way for people to easily review your business on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Better Business Bureau or other review sites, you need to figure out a way to do so. Not only do they influence the consumer, but they also affect your rankings in local search engines.
Create a fast, mobile-friendly website
Not necessarily a local SEO strategy, having a mobile-optimized website is critical to ensuring your business shows up in the search engine results.
Most people search for a local business or local service while they’re on the go using a mobile device. Hopefully, your website is already mobile-friendly or “responsive,” so your potential customers can get information about your business quickly and easily.
These strategies will help in putting your business on the map and provide familiarity amongst your local community. For more tips and help with marketing please email firstname.lastname@example.org