Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a vital tool for small businesses who wish to improve their organic search rankings. Local SEO is a marketing strategy that is specifically designed to take advantage of location based search results and to target local customers.
The following article will provide you insight into the key high level factors that will help you achieve your Local SEO goals and give you some ideas on how to dominate Local SEO.
Through our online resources you should now have a solid understanding of what Local SEO is, the steps you can take to outrank your competitors, how your business gets found with Google search and what to look for if you are looking for a good Local SEO company.
All of your marketing efforts are driven towards increasing or improving something that you do. Depending on what you provide, this could be sales, reach, exposure, prominence, or something else depending on the product or service. Perhaps the most important example of this is the Google Local Pack. It is important for any business, no matter what you do, to dominate the field. Let’s go through a few local SEO tips to show you how you can go about achieving this.
The Relevance of your Business Online sets the tone
Your customer hops onto their computer or mobile device, they start plugging away on Google Search or Google Maps for what they are looking for. Do you feel what they are typing in will pull up your business? Knowing what Google Keywords to use will certainly help out, but that’s not the whole picture. What content online would make Google think of you when they create their list of possible matches your customer will choose from. Sit there a minute and really think about it, is your business relevant to the search? If you are a roofing company, think about your online presence and what may promote the fact that you are the best option? If you are an eye care practice, nothing changes, what do YOU have online that will make Google believe that that’s what you do AND you’re the best choice? There is no limit to the amount of areas you can jump into in order to become more relevant.
The main guideline to follow, besides making sure your publish high quality content, is to keep your conversation local and consistent. Ensure your Google My Business (GMB) profile is completely built out, so its more than just an address and phone number, and always claim your free listing.
If you have reviews, including positive reviews, respond to them all. Are there pictures and video linked to your account? Did you mention your location and business function in the notes section of your listing? Are there any highly regarded agencies or professionals in your field?
It will only help you if you promote them through your business and create links to their articles, books or tutorials. Just make sure they are not a direct competitor of course! Are there government regulations in your field? You may want to introduce those topics through your website and create links to those pages. Write an article or blog post yourself on how you’re a subject matter expert on these regulations and link it to your website or submit it to an industry journal.
On a smaller more local scale, are you involved in your local Chamber of Commerce? Make sure your business is promoted by them and create links to their page through your website. Link building is a very important piece in becoming relevant online. Do you perform any local community outreach or are you involved in any local events?
Promote that event through your website and social media outlets with links to your and their pages. Post exciting and interesting things to your social media page and ask others to share with their connections. You need to become as relevant to a search as possible to properly have your SEO optimized.
Business Proximity to your Location
I cannot stress enough the importance of appearing local when you want to populate in a local search. I know this sounds redundant and self-explanatory, but it is often not thought about. You should have your local phone number and address pasted on multiple listing sites.
Don’t assume that just because you are a local business that Google will know it and boost your ranking in search results. You need to prove it! Google will use whatever information is available to formulate it’s opinion.
Be sure you have information out there in as many areas as possible that signify that you are where you are, this will boost your proximity ranking. In the below example of a local coffee shop search you’ll see that Intelligentsia is listed above Starbucks, even though they are obviously the most dominant coffee chain in America. Starbucks is listed 3rd and 7th-11th with Intelligentsia and La Colombe with higher rankings. This speaks to how they have positioned themselves within the Local SEO parameters, among other factors.
Prominence of your Business on Listings
You exist, it’s time for you to exist MORE! Google will determine how prominent you are in your specific area. Yes, it’s a popularity contest and you need to be that bright shiny star. This is all done through Google’s algorithm to find online authority signals to tell the searcher that you’re a solid choice. Like with everything else, there are many avenues to help you in this area.
Your review counts and responses will promote you. Your activity on social media will also position you for success. Google will find who’s stepping up to the plate and promote them. If you’re not a famous landmark that is regularly searched for, you have some work to do. You need to become that pillar in your community that Google can look up to!
The world of Local SEO Google algorithms are constantly changing and being updated. Search Engine Watch put together a great article surrounding these changes from 2011 to 2018. As you can easily see, A LOT has been updated throughout the years and can be a bit overwhelming. Feel free to reach out any time by contacting us. We are happy to help answer your questions and help you start to dominate on Local SEO!