When it comes to marketing your business, if you depend on having customers walk into your establishment to make a purchase, you need to have a solid local SEO strategy in place. Local SEO is designed to make your business more visible to customers in your own backyard and bring them to your door.
There are many misconceptions out there about how to do local SEO, so knowing how to do it right is essential to the livelihood of your business. Here are a few things that you need to know about doing Local SEO the right way.
Understanding The Local Search Ecosystem
Today’s customer relies heavily on their mobile technology to tell then what businesses can provide solutions to their unique needs as well as where those businesses are. Consider this for a moment: it’s lunch time and you are a casual dining establishment. Your potential customers pull out their smartphones and conduct a quick search for restaurants in the area. They receive a list of restaurants they can choose from. They quickly choose and then head off towards what they are sure will be an incredible dining experience. If you aren’t doing local SEO, your business won’t be on that list and you will be missing out on tons of potential sales.
Local searches work a little differently than global searches. While they do still depend on the use of keywords to produce a list of results, most often these keywords are associated with a specific city or town. Google uses a different algorithm for local searches that places special emphasis on businesses that not only provide quality content, but also on their geographical location.
Using a geographical marker in your search allows you to limit your search for businesses and websites that offer the things you are looking to a specific area. This means that when you are optimizing your website and/or business for these searches there are certain things that you need to do in order to rank well in your particular location.
How Can I Get Started With A Local SEO Campaign Of My Own?
The good news is that local SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. There are a number of things that you can do to boost your local visibility without having to hire a professional SEO firm. Not only are these steps easy, but most carry a very low cost and many are free.
1. Claiming Your Business In Google Pages
The number one things you can do to get your business listed in the local search results pages for your industry is to claim your Google Places profile. Take a few moments to claim your listing and complete it. Make sure that your name, address, and phone number are correct and match the one that you use on your website. And, add plenty of pictures, videos and other media. Make your listing exciting so that Google will take notice and rank you better.
2. Knowing The Importance Of Local Citations
Local citations are as important to local SEO as backlinks are to global SEO. You need to get citations that relate back to your website. You can do this in a number of ways. However, some of the easiest ways to get them is to get your business listed in a number of online business directories. You need to ensure that the directories you are listed in are relevant to your industry as well as your geographical information in order to be considered “quality” by the Google local search algorithm.
3. You Must Have A Consistent Address
Make sure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online properties. If there is even the slightest inconsistency from one online property to another, they won’t be viewed as the same business by Google and will therefore detract from your efforts rather than add to them.