10 Actionable Local SEM for Your Small Business
You run a small business and you want to attract more local customers, right?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) provides a rare opportunity to create your own little niche within your local community.
For example, every town needs a hardware store, but you don’t need to have the most revolutionary hardware options on the market.
Your location is the niche, and taking the advantage of your location with SEO techniques is crucial to attract more customers. People make their local purchasing decisions based on one recommendation source: Google.
I thought it would be a handy tool if I put together a shortlist for small business owners and freelancers to check out in a regular basis.
Brick and mortar businesses can only live if done proper local marketing, so use this as your local SEO check list.
10 Actionable Local SEO Tips for Local and Small Businesses
The following ten elements embrace four areas of focus:
- Business listing directories
- Social media
- Search engines and search engine marketing
- Your business website
1. Fill Out All the Local Listing Pages
Optimizing local listing pages is a quick way to create an identity at the top of the search engines. In addition, the local listing pages link to your websites and improve your SEO.
Sometimes you have to make a page on local listings, but often you simply have to claim the pages. I would recommend searching for directories focused just on your industry as well. Check LocoBiz.com our directory for local skills too.
Google My Business
To get started, add or claim your business on Google My Business. When you create your profile, fill out as much information as possible and upload supplementary photos of your business.
Once your listing is live make sure to encourage your customers to write reviews of their experience on Google My Business. Each positive review helps to solidify your place in the local market as an authority in your industry. Then go after other business directories and do the same thing (too busy, we can do local citation for you).
Beware of Duplicate Listings
Your business moves and your address changes. You need to keep your directory listings updated. The best way to find out the state of your listings is to search your phone number or address in Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
2. Create a Blog and Talk About Your Community
Do you run a local coffee shop? Why are you not publishing articles about the coolest things to do in your neighborhood this summer? It may not relate directly to coffee, but it connects to your business because your company is an integral part of the community.
Not to mention, these articles can get huge shares on social media and lead to lots of visitors on your website. More visitors means higher popularity index.
3. Locate the Best Local Keywords for Your Business
Google Keyword Planner is a wonderful tool for figuring out the right keywords to target. When people search for local companies they generally type in the town first and then some words relating to your business.
Want to try some other ways to get keyword ideas? Try typing in your keyword ideas in Google search, then scroll down to the bottom to see the related searches. Find these keywords and make a list of the best performing ones.
Let us know if you need help optimizing your business keywords. We can do it for you as part of your website audit.
4. Use These Keywords to Optimize Your Entire Website
Don’t overstuff your website, but start to scatter the best performing keywords throughout your site. Your website content should be more than a list of keywords. Instead, use your primary keyword in merely 2-5% of your conversation.
Especially if it is a long-tail keyword.
How many times can you really use a keyword like Los Angeles air conditioner repair in a sentence after all without sounding stodgy and boring?
5. Reach Out to Local Publications to Write About You
Every town, country, city and village has publications that are looking for stories. If you released a funny new flavor ice cream at your ice cream parlor, share this with the local newspaper.
Its the medias job to constantly cover new and upcoming news. You are actually doing them a favor by bringing topics to the attention. Building a friendship with the local media can help you in the future promote your business.
6. Test Your Website on all Browsers and Devices
Mobile responsiveness is a huge part of your SEO strategy, so make sure you’re using a website theme that morphs into viewable components when seen on a tablet or smartphone. Check to see how the site works on browsers like Chrome, Safari and FireFox.
7. Ask Customers to Leave Reviews on Your Site and Listing Pages
Having a positive rating can help lift your business in search results, especially on sites that allow visitors to sort businesses by positive ratings.
Only legitimate reviews are going to help your SEO, but it’s not a bad thing to ask your customers to leave you honest reviews on sites like Yelp, and Google My Business.
8. Select Social Media Used by Your Local Customers
Social media is great because you can test it out for free. Do your customers love you on Pinterest but never interact on Facebook? Get rid of Facebook and put all your energy into Pinterest.
Optimize Facebook for Local Search
The best advice I can give you to optimize your Facebook page for local search is to make sure you set up your page as a local business. This might seem simple to some but Facebook gives you several options when creating your page. But if you are interested in local customers then create your Facebook page accordingly.
After your Facebook page has been set up as a local business, make sure to completely fill out your contact information, street address and business hours. If you have a home based business just include your City, Sate and Zip code.
A complete profile gives you more credibility with search engines and helps to create a clear consistency with your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number).
9. Fill Your Website and Listing Pages with Visual Content
Visual content plays a huge role in SEO, since it improves the user experience, and search engines can detect when a customer is bored or not interested in your content. 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. And viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them.
10. Schedule a Time Every 3 Months to Test and Check
Nothing ever get done unless you put in on the calendar, so keep this page handy and remind yourself to check your SEO every 3 months.
It is not unusual for consumers search habits to change or for search engines to launch a major algorithm update. Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500 times.
While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways.
Sounds too much? Well may be, but nowadays, digital marketing rules the consumer taste, so it is hard to ignore it. Please brows our services and see how we may be of any help.
Please share your digital marketing tips with fellows below.