Once upon a time, SEO was optional for small businesses. Sure, some companies wanted to be technologically forward and dive into the online marketing world. However, many companies chose to just stick with the old ways of marketing and advertising and didn’t really experience any consequences for staying out of the online game.
Today, however, the rules have definitely changed. Whether you’re a big company or a small company, if you want to have any chance at real success, you need to have a strong online presence. A good online presence starts with great SEO that gets your business to the top of the search rankings for your niche and location.
To help you succeed, here are 13 tips for local SEO success.
1. Keep Your Website Updated
This goes for social media too. Google and other search engines like websites that show recent and consistent activity. Remember, a website or a social media platform should be treated like a living, breathing entity.
2. Make Sure You’re Registered With Google MyBusiness
Do you know those little business description boxes in the sidebar of Google search results? They’re brought to you by a service called MyBusiness, which is invaluable to any business owner.
3. Be Uniform and Easily Recognizable
When it comes to the exact spelling of your business and your logo, you should be uniform across all of your various online homes and social media platforms. It helps to make you more easily recognizable and give your online presence a cohesive feel.
4. Take Advantage of Press
If a local publication or blog wants to do a story on your business, jump on the opportunity. These news stories provide for some of the best inbound links and organic search results imaginable.
5. Don’t Keyword Stuff or Use Black Hat Tactics
Yes, there was a time where you could get away with this and cheat the system. That time has passed. Not only is this scummy, but Google has perfected its algorithms to the point where the would-be scammers are usually punished for their black hat attempts.
6. Repeat Your Location Throughout Your Website’s Subpages
You don’t want to keyword stuff, but you do want every subpage on your website to state your location. Remember, potential customers won’t always land on your homepage first.
7. State The Obvious
If you’re a dentist, you might not feel the need to state that you do simple teeth cleanings. After all, what dentist doesn’t? However, search engines really like when you state the obvious.
8. Put Your Service In Your Company Name
If you’ve already filled out the paperwork for your business it might be too late for this. If you haven’t, however, it’s a great idea. “”Jim’s Tires and Engine Repair”” is a lot more search engine-friendly than “”Jim’s Incorporated.””
9. Blog Frequently
In the era of Facebook and Twitter, some business owners now see blogging as antiquated. However, a blog post is much more likely to rise in the search engine results than a Facebook status update is.
10. Make Sure You’re Using The Right Keywords
You should be periodically reexamining your keywords and whether or not they’re still competitive for your business. Keyword rankings ebb and flow and can change over time.
11. Embed A Map On Your Website
Customers like to be able to see a visual of exactly where you’re located. It eliminates a step for them. It’s also very Google-friendly.
12. Don’t Write Fake Reviews
You will get caught, so don’t do it. Once you’ve been blacklisted from Yelp or Google Reviews, it’s very difficult to stay competitive in search engine rankings.
13. Make Sure You Look Good On Mobile
More and more people are using their phones to look up businesses, especially when they’re on the go. Test your website to make sure that it’s optimized for mobile devices.
If you incorporate these tips into your overall internet marketing strategy, you’ll have more success. Great SEO doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right tips, tools and persistence, you can raise the visibility of your business online.