Do you have a small business? Do you want to get more customers and grow it without investing a significant amount of money? If so, then local SEO tips might be right for you. Local SEO is one of the most sought after methods today and marketing experts all over the world talk about how it helps businesses get noticed and drive more traffic to their websites.
There’s no doubt that local SEO has a big impact on your website’s search engine rankings. Yet, while it’s good to know how to rank locally, the reality is that we’re all competing with the big boys. But, don’t get mad at them; they are big because they are doing their jobs correctly. The advice here is meant to help you understand what you need to do to compete with them.
#1 Choose a local domain extension
Do you want to increase your local SEO? Is your website targeted for a specific geographical area? If so, you should consider using a local domain extension.
Local domain extensions are extensions that are specific to a country or region. For example, if you own a business in Canada, you can register the domain name with the .ca extension.
A country-specific top level domain (ccTLD) is an excellent way to tell search engines that your website is relevant for that particular area.
It increases trust and makes it easier for customers to remember your domain name.
#2 Create and optimize local content, like the About Us page
If you don’t already have an About Us page, create one. It should explain your company’s history and mission to put a human face on your business. Some business owners are reluctant to share too much information about their companies, but the more you share, the better. After all, this is the only way a consumer can get to know you before making a purchasing decision.
Be sure to include your address and phone number on this page—and although it may seem obvious, make sure these contact details are correct! You’d be surprised how many businesses list incorrect addresses or phone numbers on their websites. If consumers can’t find you when they want to contact or visit you, how will they ever become customers?
Make sure that your content is original and not duplicated from elsewhere on the web (or even from another site you own). Duplicate content can lead to penalties from search engines, which could sink your site in the rankings.
Once you’ve created your content and optimized it for local search (we’ll discuss this below), post it online and begin promoting it through social media channels. The more users who click through to visit your site, the better!
#3 Add local data, such as opening hours and phone number, to your website
Adding local data, such as opening hours and phone number, to your website is important for improving your local SEO. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Firstly, implementing schema markup to your website will help search engines understand the location of your business and other relevant information.
Secondly, keep your name, address and phone number (NAP) consistent across all online sources around the web. This includes listing directories and on social media profiles. If they are not consistent, this could harm your rankings.
Thirdly, ensure that your location is visible on Google Maps. To feature here you will need to set up a Google My Business account (GMB).
#4 Get listed on local directories and review sites
There are a number of local directories and review sites that you can get your business listed on. Some of the most popular ones include Yelp, Yellow Pages, City Search, Google Places, and others. The process is pretty simple—you just need to create a profile or page for your business on the site and make sure all the info is accurate. This will help you get more local exposure in the results when people search for things like “restaurants near me.”
#5 Monitor your online directory listings and improve them if needed
When you’re a small business owner, it’s your job to know everything about the services or products you offer. You have to know how to do the work, where to get the materials, who can help you with things you don’t know how to do…the list goes on and on. With all of that responsibility, it’s easy to let something like your online directory listings fall by the wayside. But as people are increasingly turning to their smartphones for information about local businesses, such as what they sell and where they’re located, it’s vital that you keep your online directory listings up-to-date.
You may not realize it, but these free listings can make or break your business. If someone wants to buy a product or service from a local company but can’t find information about your business on any of these sites, they’re less likely to choose you. Worse still, if they find inaccurate information on one of these sites—such as an old phone number or address—they might just move on to a competitor who has correct information listed.
So what can you do about it? First off, go through each listing and check for outdated contact information and missing details. Then take some time to add any relevant keywords that might help people looking for your product or service reach you easily.
#6 Integrate Google My Business features into your marketing efforts
It’s easy to see the value in optimizing your website to rank better in search results, but you might be overlooking a valuable resource: Google My Business. A free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Maps and in other Google products, Google My Business allows you to share important information like your location and hours of operation; it also lets customers leave reviews and post photos. You can even create a post with updates about your business that will appear in your customers’ feeds. Make sure you’re fully leveraging this tool by keeping these tips in mind as you set up an account for your business:
- Completely fill out all of the information fields—your company name, address, phone number, opening hours, etc.
- Add photos of your employees and/or store front so customers know what to expect when they visit.
- Respond promptly to any customer questions or reviews, both positive and negative.
- Track how much traffic is coming from Google My Business using the Analytics feature.
Some final thoughts on local seo tips
If you want to attract more customers in your area, implementing local SEO tips is definitely a way to go. By being where your customers are and developing a flexible search engine optimization plan, you’re giving your business a chance to grow. While local SEO is not as complex as other forms of digital marketing such as PPC advertising, it can still be quite involved. The more effort you put into it, the more traffic you will get over time.
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