Today there are 28 million small local businesses and 22 million self-employed individuals. With all that competition how can you get your local brand above the noise? By implementing a focused local SEO content strategy, you can get your message in front of the right person at the right time.
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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 more important than ever. So let’s look at three ways to get the most out of your local SEO strategy.
Table of Contents
1. Prioritize Your Website
When it comes to digital marketing, every action you make revolves around your website. To optimize your site to generate targeted local traffic, follow these action items.
Buy a Domain That Not Only Reflects Your Brand but Your Location As Well
While your domain doesn’t directly affect your ranking, it can increase the click-through rate in the SERPs. Adding a located base text to your URL lets the searcher know they are in the right place.
Add Localized Long-Tail Keywords
When optimizing your pages, use localized long-tail keywords in the page title, H1 tag, image ALT tags, and content.
Use Your NAP Whenever Appropriate
Incorporate your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) information on the homepage, contact page, and each individual page of your website. NAP ensures your pages are optimized for local search intent.
Promote Your Roots
When you are part of a community, those in your group are more likely to trust you. Use language, keywords, and phrases that those in your area can connect with and understand. Show how you are invested in your neighborhood and geographic location.
Write Blog Content
Blog posts offer an amazing opportunity to reach potential customers. If you are a local business owner, having a localized content strategy is crucial to your SEO efforts. Focus on writing blogs around relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
2. Take Control of Your Business Listings and Make Them Stand Out
One of the most effective ways to boost your local SEO is by taking control of your 3rd party business listings and maximizing their potential. Google, along with other major search engines, is constantly scanning these sites to gather local business information. If your business isn’t listed ‚Äî or if the information listed about it is incomplete or inaccurate ‚Äî there is a risk of diminishing or negatively impacting your business’ placements in search results. Take action by following the tips below.
Register for a Google Business Profile
Registering for a Google Business Profile is a critical first step in any Local SEO strategy. Take time to complete your Google Business Profile by filling in all of the information fields in their entirety. This helps maximize your potential to be found where users are likely searching for your business the most.
Search Major 3rd Party 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 ensuring that the NAP and other information are correct you can score some quality local SEO points.
Make Your Listings Stand Out
Make your profile more attractive by using photos, videos, website URLs, 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 in which you are listed. 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.
3. Engage With Users: The Power of Social And Online Reviews
Having users review your business helps to build your business’s 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.
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 contact you about their concerns so you can address their problems. Never argue with a disgruntled online reviewer. This never works out in the business’s favor.
Build A Solid Social Strategy
Encourage customers to engage with your business via Facebook, 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 in the mode of sell, sell, sell. But when it comes to social media, 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 and content marketing strategy. Then you can start to rank for the terms for which your local audience is searching. These action 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 and need Local Search Help? Request a consultation with a local SEO pro today!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Aug 5, 2015, and has been updated with fresh content.