7 Actionable Local SEO Tips & Strategies for Small Businesses


Potential customers are searching for your business online.

How do you make your business searchable?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital and local SEO is key in the evolution of search engines.

No customer will take much spend time searching for your business, especially if they don’t know it exists.

Customers need results INSTANTLY and will only click on the first few results of their search.

Therefore, you MUST ensure that your business is optimizing your local search listing results.

As it is one of the SEO trends this year, make sure to use its full potential by developing a strong local SEO strategy. Make the connection!

The landscape of local results is rapidly changing with search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing challenging traditional print Yellow Pages.

local seo rankings

Search engines have become the prime method for discovering local businesses and local information.

Since 2009, google has been showing local results regarding generic queries.

Hence, for customers to find local results within their exact location they do not need to include any town, city or geographic details when searching online.

It is also important to note that mobile searches principally gather results from local search engines.

So, to put it in another way, if you are NOT using local SEO for your business you are not invited to the party!

What does this mean for your business?

Local search now has a huge marketing potential to attract new customers.

Employing local SEO into your marketing strategy is an absolute necessity if you want your business to grow.

Thousands of great local SEO resources exist, but trekking through all those resources is time-consuming that’s why I have created this step by step article to get you started.

Let’s begin by breaking down Local SEO:

The two major functions of search engines are crawling and building an index, and providing search users (customers) with a ranked list of websites they`ve determined are the most relevant.

Local SEO is determined by the same process however the difference is the marketing methods you employ to achieve a great reputation, ultimate rankings and relevance.

Local SEO Tips & Strategies for small businesses:

1. Ranking for local pack listings

3 pack local ranking

Here’s how you can do it:

Step One: Make sure that your business qualifies as local via Google’s definition in their guidelines.

Step Two: Claim your Google My Business page. You must include:

Google My Business Form
• A formatted description with links.
•The correct category for your business.
• Upload photos.
• Local phone number.
• Business address that’s consistent with that on your website and local directories.
• Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
• Business working hours.
• Customer reviews.

2. Website Development and Maintenence

Here’s how you can do it:

Step One: Write your full business Name. Address. Phone Number (NAP) on every page of your website.

Ensure you have the exact same details/format when you mention your address on other websites.

For more information on the importance of NAPs click here.

NAP of a local business in australia

Step Two: Concretely optimize the site for local search + organic search.

Step Three: Develop excellent website content relating to your industry and make regular updates.

This way the website develops your business reputation and ensures excellent customer service and establishes the business as an authoritative resource.

3. Be Active on Social Media

One of the most effective ways of improving your Local SEO is by making use of social media. Don’t get me wrong, though Google announced that social signals are not part of it’s ranking factors, however, this serves as an indirect ranking factor.

People tend to prefer companies that have social media following as this relates to being an authority in the industry. This indirectly improves the site’s CTR, thus contributes to its ranking factor.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step One: Sign up to social media sites. You don’t need to sign up in all social media sites. Depending on how you want to reach your audience, you just need a couple of them actually. Here are my top 5 social media sites:

4. Get Reviews from Your Customers

local business reviews

Here’s how you can do it:

Step One: Acquire local reviews. Contact existing customers and generate interest in submitting a review.

One technique is to give them an incentive such as a discount.

Step Two: Create a page on your website whereby customers can write a review and give feedback.

Step Three: Ensure you respond to your reviews, thanking people for their time and controlling any negative feedback or comments.

Reputation is EVERYTHING! Never underestimate any type of review.

Local reviews have a direct impact on local search rankings, therefore time spent investing in getting them is essential.

New customers determine the quality of your business from previous customers.

You can gain a positive advantage over competitors with a greater number of good reviews and high rankings.

Winning trust of your customers helps generate more revenue for your business.

5. Claim Your Local Citations

A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number.

Yelp Local Citation

Here’s how you can do it:

Step One: Determine what citations you have and then update them so that they’re all consistent. Here is a useful tool.

Step Two: Ensure listings have been developed on core local business data platforms.

Step Three: Manage and update your citations weekly to observe emerging inconsistencies/duplicates/third party edits.

 

Here’s a couple of useful ways to get local citations:

1. Access Moz and take a look at the extensive list of citations.

2. Create alerts using Mention or Google Alerts to track competitors’ new mentions of your NAP listing.

6. Check & Get Links

Here’s how you can do it:

Step One: Analyze the existing links pointing to your site. If any of those links are pointing to a broken page on your site, fix it immediately by using a 301 redirect and point it to the new URL.

Use this wordpress plugin for easy 301 redirects.

Step Two: Aquire voluntary links in publications and promotion materials.

Press Release for a Local Business

Step Three: Approach your local press to get coverage, organise interviews and columns within relevant online publications. Enter local awards and create a local PR outreach strategy. Sign up for local sponsorships and editorial contributions.

For a more in-depth look at how to build links click here.

7. Optimize Your Meta Title & Description

CTR(Click Through Rate) is the percentage of people seeing your listing and end up clicking on it. This is one of the many ranking factors you should not take for granted, and Google uses this metric to match it with what the user searches for.

Optimized Meta Title

Here’s how you can do it:

Step One: Ensure your meta title is as relevant as possible and include Geo-Modifiers (City, State).

Step Two: Create a detailed meta description. This is very important as it is what your customers will read second after the title. You can include different elements such as images, social media data, ratings, product pricing and availability.

Step Three: Use images to attract attention. When there is text next to an image it is the image that captures people. This is proven and works very well. Ensure the image is linked to your website.

Step Four: Make sure to promote your reviews.

For a more in-depth look at how to increase your SERP CTR click here.

Do you agree with my list?

Let me know what you think by using the comment box below.

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