Small business owners who read this blog are probably aware of search engine optimization (SEO) and what it is, but you may not understand what local SEO is and why it is important for your business.
The key difference between SEO and local SEO is which search results you want to appear in.
SEO is about ranking in search results that don’t depend on a specific location (i.e. national or international search results). On the other hand, local SEO is about optimizing pages and sites for region-specific results, such as ‘near me’ searches. These kinds of searches enable users to find products and services available in their local area.
Here are some solutions for small business owners who want to improve their Local SEO:
1. Have and maintain an updated website
A small business website should meet certain conditions to be effective for local search.
Items such as loading speed, security and user experience are crucial. Take a look at our article about why you need to update your website regularly to make sure it is up to snuff.
2 . Improve your Google Business Info
To get your listing to appear in local search on Google Maps and Google Search, you need to create a Google Business listing with up-to-date information.
Make sure you or your digital marketing professional keeps your business information up-to-date and verifies your business location(s). Include your logo and photos of your business.
Ensure that your Google Business page clearly states what products/services you offer and where you offer them.
3. Maintain your On-Page SEO
Here are the key on-page SEO elements your digital marketing professional should be focusing on:
- Title tags
- Meta tags
- Header tags
- Page content
- Name, address and phone
4. Obtain and Maintain Online Reviews
Google Business, like Facebook, allows visitors to leave a review of your company. If your company has a good rating, people will be more likely to click through to your website from social media platforms.
You should be asking all your customers who have had positive experiences with your company to post an online review. You may want to direct them to the channels you are most active on with a direct link via email or text.
If you get a negative review for any reason, react by responding and solving your customer’s problem. Then, once you have, ask them to change their review afterward.
This article will provide you even more information on the importance of customer reviews for small businesses.
5. Integrate Your Social Media Campaigns
In addition to supporting local SEO efforts, integrating social media also helps you build trust.
Make sure your digital marketing professional designs your social marketing campaigns with the most important and relevant keywords for your business. Your audience will use those words to research your business when searching, find your content on your website and on social media which will help in building trust and credibility to convince potential customers to buy your products or services.
6. Consistently build valuable and relevant content
Your small business SEO will get a significant boost from having content that your audience finds value in and helps them solve their problems. Too many small business owners just put their products and contact details on their website and pay no attention to helping potential customers find value in their offerings.
Write about your business, your business goals, how great your products and how they help your customers solve issues and problems. You could also discuss market developments or events that relate to your business. Ask yourself “is this information that would interest my audience?” and then have your digital marketing professional help you create, tag and publish the right content.
You should be realistic about the chances of getting any content to “rank” in search results. If you are in a highly competitive market, content works very well as a marketing tool and as input for social media, but it probably won’t get you on the first page of Google search results, so manage your expectations accordingly.
In order to compete effectively in a digital marketplace, small businesses need to direct their efforts toward specific and relevant marketing practices. Investing in local SEO is a proven way to help your small business attract all the relevant customers in your area.