When it comes to your small business, one of the biggest concerns you have is getting your business seen. On the Internet, this can be a tall order. However, it is possible. What’s even better is that it is fairly easy to do so. Local SEO efforts not only help you boost visibility with search engines as well as improving your social media presence, ratings and reviews.
Below is a list of six steps you can take to reach local SEO success as well as a list of actionable items that you can use to boost your business’s brand identity online.
Properly Optimize Information On Your Business’ Website
Optimizing your website is one of the most important things that you can do for your website’s search engine ranking. Here’s how to do it.
Find a domain name that tells readers what your business does and where it is located. For example, www.bobbyspizzaNYC.com is great for local SEO.
Next, add relevant keywords to your page titles that identify your business’s name, the services you provide as well as the area you service.
Add your company’s name, address and telephone number consistently across the bottom of every page of your website.
Make sure that your website content not only talks about your business, but includes local information including what section of town you are in, what local teams play, local landmarks around your business and more.
Secure and Update Your Business Listings
The next step is to create a consistent presence among all of the different third party properties out there. Google and other search engines are constantly scanning business directories and other listings in order to create a more solid understanding of localities and the various businesses that make them up.
If your business’s information is missing or incorrect, Google will begin to overlook your business, which will have a huge impact on your website’s visibility.
Find and claim your listings on websites such as Dexknows, Facebook, Yelp, Google+, YP, TripAdvisor, and Yellowbook.
Complete each of your listings to its fullest. Add pertinent details wherever they fit, put listings into categories, and make sure you add pictures and other media to make them more attractive to customers.
And finally, if you operate several different locations, each one needs separate listings.
Ensure An Appropriate Link Strategy
Contrary to popular belief, Google still counts links to your website from external sources.
Share links from your website on social media, encouraging others to click on them and/or share them as well and add links to your website in any digital communications you send out to customers like emails, newsletters, etc.
Consider starting a blog where you can discuss local goings-on. This will give you another platform for providing links to readers about your business as well as other businesses and local places of interest.
Encourage And Respond To Online User Reviews
User reviews is one of the biggies for local SEO. This is why it is so important to encourage your customers to leave them. However, you also need to respond to them in order to add color to the conversation. Don’t fall into the trap of leaving your own reviews as this will have a hugely negative impact on your visibility.
Encourage your customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business if they are satisfied with your work. Whether it’s a simple email after a service is rendered, a flyer at checkout, or a call out on your website – the more positive, authentic reviews your business receives, the better your business will appear in search (both via the search engines and the local review sites themselves).
Engage Regularly Via Social Media
Social media is an important part of local SEO as well as your marketing strategy. Interact with your followers in a way that is interesting to them, focusing more on engaging them and less on advertising. Create several different accounts, including Google+ and make regular updates. Be accessible to clients and respond to questions and comments. Avoid being salesy all the time.