Local businesses are the heartbeat of our economy. Over 50% of the working population in the United States works for a local small business. Today there are 28 million small local businesses and 22 million self-employed individuals. With all that competition how can you get your brand above the noise? By implementing a focused local SEO strategy you can get your message in front of the right person at the right time.
More On Local SEO
Tweet this --> : 97% of consumers use Internet when researching local products/services (BIA/Kelsey). Local SEO is massively important when it comes to converting local traffic to your company's website. The surge of mobile search has made this even more important than ever. So let's take a look at 3 ways to get the most out of your local SEO strategy.
When it comes to digital marketing, every action you make revolves around your website. So this is the most logical place to start. To optimize your site to generate targeted local traffic, follow these actions items.
• Buy a domain that not only reflects your brand, but your location as well. While your domain doesn’t have a direct affect on your ranking, it can increase the click through rate in the SERPs. Adding a located base text to your URL lets the search know they are in the right place.
• Add Localized Long-Tailed Keywords. When optimizing your pages use localized long-tailed keywords in the page title, H1 tag, Image ALT tags and of course the content.
• Use Your NAP Wherever Appropriate. Incorporate your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) information in not only the homepage or contact page, but each individual page of your website.
• Promote Your Roots.
• Search Major 3rd Local Listing Sites
There are a few ways to go about this. You can go directly to each site and look up your company information and check it to see that it is correct, or you can scan it for free here. By claiming your listings and insuring that the NAP and other information is correct you can score some quality local SEO points.
• Make Your Listings Stand Out
Make your profile more attractive by using photos, videos, website URL and other key information. If your area is like most, your competition is not doing this so get a head start and spruce up your listings today.
• Are You Listed in the Correct Categories?
After claiming your profiles, check the categories you are listed in. Make sure you choose all the appropriate categories and remove any that don’t make sense. Adding incorrect or conflicting information here must be avoided.
• Multiple Locations Means Multiple Listings
If your business has multiple locations, create separate listings for each location on your website to boost the visibility of both your brand and each of your locations.
Having users review your business helps to build your business’ visibility in local search results, and so does your engagement in responding to them. This goes for both positive and negative reviews. But another great place to interact is on social media. Social continues to play a role in local business ranking. The more proactive you are, the more likely you will attract followers who will share your contact via social. Take these steps to connect:
• Have Your Delighted Customers Leave Reviews
Encouraging your customers to leave ratings and a review of your business if they are satisfied is a must. The unfortunate truth is that people are more likely to leave a negative review when upset than a good review if satisfied. A few tips to get them to review are; send them a simple email after a service is rendered, hand them a flyer at checkout, or add a call-to-action on your website – the more positive, authentic reviews your business receives, the better your business will appear in local searches.
• Be Proactive
Respond to all types of user reviews. If the post is positive, thank the customer for their feedback and encourage them to use your services again. If the post is negative, explain that you appreciate the feedback and ask the customer to get in contact with you about their concerns so you can address their problems. Never argue with a disgruntled online reviewer. This never works out in the business' favor.
• Build A Solid Social Strategy
Encourage customers to engage with your business via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other popular networks on a regular basis. By building a bigger following and getting more interaction you will boost your social pages in the search rankings.
• Don’t Just Promote, Inform
It’s easy to get the mode of sell, sell, sell. But when it comes to social you have to be careful. A few good ideas to increase engagement and inform your followers include updates on new products, promotions and giveaways, and highlighting stories of relevance to your customers. Just like on a review site, when someone comments, be sure to engage them in that conversion. After all, it is social media.
Today there are more tools than ever to help small businesses promote themselves. Have a clear, goal driven local SEO strategy. Then you can start to rank for the terms your local audience is searching for. These actions items will help set your business up for success online. So what are you waiting for? Optimize and start driving targeted local traffic today!
Overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks of running your local business but need Local Search Help? Run a free scan of your local listings and request a consultation with a local SEO pro today.
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