Are you a local business trying to rank higher on search engines? Follow these tips so you can become a master of local SEO.
There’s nothing like seeing the joy of your local business take off.
Once you get a good following, you start to know your regulars, get attention from local press outlets, and really feel the fruits of your success. This goes for mum and pop restaurants, coffee shops, fashion labels, and more.
Every business starts somewhere. But, when it comes to local businesses, the best path to success is one in which you make the most of your location and community. The right digital marketing approach can help you do just that.
Here are seven things you need to do to master local SEO as a business owner.
1. Clarify Your NAP
Have you ever searched for something on Google just to get the company’s phone number? Or, maybe to find the address of where you’re headed?
Customers do this all the time. When you don’t have your NAP (name, address, phone number) information consistent, though, it makes it harder for them to find you. Even worse, inconsistent NAP information can cause confusion and steer customers away from doing business with you.
This goes for more than just your Google My Business page. Your NAP should be consistent everywhere that you’ve placed contact information on the internet. This means your Google page, your social media pages, and your website’s landing pages, too.
2. Build Out Your Landing Pages
Speaking of landing pages, how many do you have on your website?
If there’s only one landing page, you have a problem. It might look nice and sophisticated to have a continuous scroll design, but this doesn’t give you much breadth from a search perspective.
Instead, build a separate landing page for all of your business’ information. At the very least, this will include a home page, about us page, products and services, and contact page. You can add an FAQ page in order to add more content, and definitely consider starting a blog as well.
No matter how many pages you end up with, give each one a unique URL. Specify what that page is for, and make use of each one’s search title and meta description.
3. Go Mobile, and Be Fast
Once all your landing pages are tweaked, make sure they are mobile-friendly. The best way to do this is to use a responsive design, which automatically adjusts to fit any size screen.
Responsive is the solution to the old-school way of mobile design, when business owners had to make a separate website entirely. This hurts your local SEO efforts significantly.
Instead, it’s best to have all your information in one place for bots to crawl and users to interact with. To create the best results, make sure your website is fast, too. Everything should load in three seconds or less.
Anything more than three seconds loses a user’s attention. In fact, Google now uses that as a red flag that your website may not be the best match to a person’s inquiry. In other words, slow loading time can hurt your local SEO rankings.
4. Say Exactly Where You Are
Sometimes, making the most of local SEO is as simple as saying where you are.
Okay, you’re local – local to where, though? Mention the county and city in which your business operates. Even name the borough if you’re operating in a big city, like Miami, London, or Sydney. Even mid-sized cities have a few noteworthy boroughs that can help your search results.
The more you make even such obvious details apparent, the better. Remember, these details aren’t obvious to search bots, and they certainly aren’t something new customers will be aware of. Some of them may not even know you’re open for business!
Specifying your exact location clears the dust. It tells people (and search engines) where you are in their vicinity. To make this even more effective, focus on using keywords like “nearby” or “near me.”
5. Interact with the Local Community
To get more local exposure online, become more engaged with the local community in real life. Sponsor local schools, fairs, and special events. Reach out to radio stations and news outlets for a feature as well.
These don’t always relate directly to SEO, but they can make great content. Ask the groups you sponsor to give you a shoutout on social media. Instead of looking for radio or TV time, contact the news with a press release you’d like uploaded to their site.
This takes your digital marketing strategy to the next level. It leverages the online presence of other local establishments to get your local SEO rankings just a little bit higher.
6. Make Use of Reviews
When you engage with your community enough, people may start talking about you just because. When they do so online, this is called organic user-generated content, which also plays into your local SEO success.
Monitor online conversations and make sure what users are saying is good. Check the things you get tagged in and the reviews people post – either directly via a form on your site or through social media.
When you get a particularly good review, share it. Turn what a satisfied customer said into a social media post or even as a quote in a blog. Make sure you respond to them with a genuine thanks, too.
7. Keep Creating Content
At the end of the day, when it comes to standard or local SEO, content really is king. You have to keep a consistent flow of new, relevant information coming to your audience.
This is how Google knows you’re still the business you said you were five months ago, and how customers stay in the know about updates. Whether through a traditional blog, a vlog, or fun social posts, a content calendar is essential.
Get Professional Support for Your Local SEO
There’s one more local SEO tool well worth using: help from the experts.
Sometimes, search success isn’t about how well you know your digital tools or ranking efforts – it’s about the time it takes to make these as effective as possible. If you’re running a business, time escapes you pretty easily.
Make sure your local SEO strategy is always taken care of, no matter whatever else is on your plate. Put it in the hands of people who know the ins and outs of search.
Contact us today for help taking your rankings from average to outstanding!