Search engine optimization isn’t something that only big companies can excel at. Small, local businesses can take advantage of their place in their community to rank higher in local search results, getting more exposure when potential customers try to find them. Below are some suggestions to add to your local search strategy.
Optimize Your Site
The most important thing a local business can do is make sure that its site works correctly. The bulk of the work you need to do to optimize your site is relatively basic. Spend a few hours cleaning up dead links, fixing typos, linking relevant content and organizing your pages and posts. While there is plenty of work that might need to be done under the hood, you may be able to see a huge impact by taking care of the problems that are most obvious to your site visitors.
Spend Time Researching The Right Keywords
Keywords are still an important part of local SEO. Although user experience is the king when it comes to how people use your site, it’s important to spend some time researching the right keywords that appeal to search engine bots. Overly vague and general keywords will end up being a waste of your time and money. Instead, spend your time looking for longer keyword phrases that are likely to appeal to your potential customers. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to dominate a search page if you try to go toe-to-toe with your national competition, but the right keywords can help you come out on top when people are making searches for local businesses.
Add Video Content
Video content can add quite a bit to your website. In fact, video content has been shown to draw in more visitors and help you convert them into paying customers. The key isn’t just to use video on your site – it’s to use relevant video that meets the needs of your local customers. Don’t just throw up a greeting video or link to something you think is interesting. Make sure that any video on your site is worth the time spent loading it, especially if your customers tend to have slower connections.
Claim Your Google Business Listing
Google My Business has been an incredible tool for local business owners and one of the best ways to boost a local profile. Claiming this listing only takes a few minutes, but it allows your business information to show up directly on a search page. This boosts the profile of your business even if you aren’t in the top spot, and it allows you to give your customers the information they need easily. Don’t ignore this simple listing – it can make a huge difference in the visibility of your business.
Ask for Reviews
Real, honest reviews play a huge role in how your business is perceived. Before most potential customers visit your site, they’ll seek out reviews. To take advantage of this, make sure you leave space for legitimate reviews on your site. This will help keep those site visitors on your website so they don’t leave and see a competitor on Yelp or elsewhere.
Another useful SEO tip is to make sure your business name, address, phone number and website is mentioned frequently online. These mentions, called citations, can be easily produced by claiming various local citations. We have a free tool for checking the status of your local citations. Citations can help your site jump up in the local search rankings, so make sure they’re accurate.
Enhance Your Mobile Presence
Take a few moments to make sure your site is fully optimized for mobile use. Mobile users have surpassed traditional computer and sites that don’t offer them a great experience will lose search traffic and sales. The more useful your site is to potential customers, the better you will end up ranking in a search. If you can’t easily browse your site on a phone, the odds are customers can’t either.
The seven tips above can be put into action quickly and can play a major role in shaping your local web presence. From giving users a better experience to increasing traffic to a site directly, these tips can help your local business rank better.