The fact that the internet is widely used by everyone to find what they need should be a good reason for you as a small business owner to up your local SEO game. The right techniques will help boost the visibility of your venture, allowing you to attract more customers locally. With this, your enterprise can take root in your community and gear up for growth.
It might sound complicated, especially as a newbie entrepreneur but fret not. This guide can help you get to know the basics of local SEO that by the end of this article you’ll be more ready to boost your brand’s online presence.
What is Local SEO?
So first thing’s first, what exactly is local SEO? Also known as local Search Engine Optimization, you can pretty much say that this is a more area-specific way of enhancing search engine results for your business. Instead of focusing solely on the name and nature of your business, this type of SEO also requires you to highlight your location.
Why You Should Give Local SEO a Shot
The good thing about local SEO is that it’s more specific than general SEO. While it’s not necessarily easier than other forms of SEO, there are clear-cut techniques that will help you boost the search ranking of your enterprise locally.
In short, this effort will practically put your business on the map. By doing so, people in your area will have an easier time learning about your business and even finding you when the need comes up.
With the most effective local SEO tricks, you can enjoy the following:
Higher search result rankings
The right SEO techniques will help your brand rank better for local searches. As becoming easy to find online is the first step for you to attract people into your website or social media pages, this method will help you establish your small business.
Increased sales conversion
Since more people will find your business, it’s also highly likely that more people will also avail of your products and services. This is what is known as the click to sales conversion which is what every entrepreneur wish to achieve from their online marketing efforts.
Better brand awareness and visibility
Since local SEO will help put your business at the top of search results for your area, locals will also become aware of its existence. Even if they don’t choose to take advantage of your offers, they will still have an idea that your business is in operation and that they can consider your services the next time they need it.
Boosting your business’ visibility requires a few different types of investments. However, when compared to setting up a brick and mortar store, local SEO offers a better return on investment. If done properly, this online marketing technique might just help you reach more people without costing as much as traditional advertisements.
Does Your Small Business Need SEO?
Local SEO might offer great things for small businesses but it’s not for everyone. This is why it’s crucial to determine whether this method is helpful in growing your brand or not.
Who should make use of local SEO tricks for their small businesses then? Experts recommend that if your operations are location-based, you should make sure to work on your local SEO efforts. This means that if your primary clientele is concentrated in your locale, you should make sure to target them through your SEO efforts.
However, if your location doesn’t matter to the type of services that you provide, doing local SEO might prove to be unnecessary. Keep in mind that this online marketing method will pigeonhole you to a specific area. This might limit your reach and would affect the growth of your business.
Local SEO: The Basics
If you’ve determined that your small business will benefit from local SEO, the next step that you should take is to get to know the process better. To do this, here are a few crucial points that you need to keep in mind.
You need to set up your website properly.
Your website will be your primary tool in your local SEO efforts so you have to make sure that it’s crafted perfectly. It should contain all of the necessary information that search engines need to place your business on the right spot on the map.
This means that your website is the first thing that you should use local SEO measures on. You should make sure that it’s completely optimized so when search engines crawl it, they can easily place it where it’s intended to go. This will help boost your rankings in search results which is exactly what your efforts are for.
How do you make sure that your website is optimized for local searches? Here are a few vital tips to remember:
- Make sure to utilize your page elements to their full potential. Using the right keywords in your tags and file names will help make your website more visible to search engines.
- Ensure that you’ll enter the correct data in your website, most especially for your location and contact details. This will further help search engines in indexing your business information.
You have to be strategic when it comes to your SEO terms.
This is a no-brainer when it comes to SEO but it bears repeating for local SEO. Nailing this step will help you get highly-targeted results which is the key to success if you want locals to find you with ease.
Aside from using the most popular terms, it’s also best to look up long-tail keywords that have less competition. Local businesses in your line of work will most likely use the same terms in their own online promotions so to have a leg up in the competition, you need to find the most unique but useful keywords to use.
The right long-tail keywords will let you get quite specific and showcase the uniqueness of your offerings. It will also help people find you if their needs are as specific as what you have in store. Find the right terms for your business and you won’t have to compete with other enterprises that are similar to yours.
There are, however, dangers in using long-tail keywords. You can either get too specific that only a handful of people will use them or you might end up not using the right terms at all to get targeted results. This is why you have to be very strategic when it comes to choosing the right keywords in your local SEO efforts.
Get acquainted with and utilize the right local search ranking signals.
If you’re familiar with SEO in general, you’ll know that there are lots of factors that can affect your search results rankings. These are known as the ranking signals and you absolutely have to make proper use of them if you want to increase the online relevance and visibility of your small business.
Local searches have different ranking signals, however, from general searches. By getting to know and mastering their use, you can certainly boost your local SEO game.
Some of the local search ranking signals that you should look into include the following:
Google My Business
With 1.17 billion people all over the world using Google on a regular basis, it’s safe to say that their products are some of the best tools to use to reach a wide audience. By using Google My Business, you can add your business’ location in Google Maps so by utilizing this platform, you can literally put your brand on the map.
Google and Google map searches tend to prioritize businesses listed in this platform so it can guarantee to boost your local search rankings. As a result, the people in your area will find your business more easily.
Google My Business is just one of the many directories that you can find online. To have a wider reach, you should also look up and get listed in others. Some of the best examples of such include:
- Apple Maps
- LinkedIn Company Directory
- Yahoo! Local
- Yellow Pages
Aside from directories, claiming or adding a business in a review site will also help promote your brand. By claiming your business, you can also get in touch more quickly with reviewers so you can address issues immediately if there are any.
Creating social media pages for your brand is also a must. This further helps establish your web presence which can help your search rankings. By adding your location on your pages, you can make it easier for your brand to be found by locals.
Tapping local influencers is a must.
Aside from working with websites, you should also look into working with actual locals to further boost your local SEO efforts. By reaching out to prominent influencers and social media figures within your community, you can spread the word about your venture in a very targeted manner.
For example, you can have a press release published in your local newspaper’s website. That can already help spread your business’ details, especially your website and location. You can also consider teaming up with a local blogger and have them feature your brand. Doing these will help you further spread backlinks and reach local audiences effectively.
These are just the bare basics of local SEO that you should get to know about. As you might notice, the whole task can seem daunting at first but once you learn the ropes, it’s not entirely that difficult. Give it a shot and you might just get the results you want for your small business.