The difference between white hat and black hat SEO has to do with the rules. You’ll always want to use white hat SEO techniques so that your business gets the best search engine results and does not risk being penalized by search engines. For local SEO, here are a few white hat techniques to focus on in 2018:
Make sure your location is known
In addition to having your physical address on your website, you should make sure your business is appropriately listed on sites like Yelp and within Google Places. If you own a Mexican restaurant, you’ll want people who are searching for ” Mexican food” in your area to find your restaurant. And they can’t do that if your address isn’t known to search engines.
Did you know you can target your content by region? On social media and on search engines, a combination of local keywords and paid advertising can improve your local SEO. Getting your content to your local audience is key for local SEO improvement.
Good old fashioned networking with local business owners, who happen to have websites, can really boost your SEO. By getting mentioned by local businesses, newspapers, and blogs, you’ll increase your local SEO over time. Search engines recognize your local focus and will reward it by having your website show up in local search results.
Utilize social media
Make it easy for your customers to check-in to your business. You can incentivize check-ins on Yelp with things like a discount code or free item. This helps people find your business online, and it also makes your web presence spread like wildfire. For every person who checks in and shares their location, your business is being exposed to their friends and family members in the area.
Make your content relevant
Your online presence should be useful to those who visit you virtually. Even if you have a small storefront that doesn’t do online sales, having great content about the products you sell or the lifestyle you promote will increase your local SEO results. The more people who visit your website, the better your SEO will be. Search engines recognize that content is useful, relevant, and worth sharing when lots of people are finding you online.
Update your website frequently
It’s not enough to slap a website online and promote it. Search engines prefer websites that are up-to-date and regularly maintained. One good way to have new, current content is to add a blog to your site. Another tip is to update your website with the latest menu or circular. What you choose to add to your website will depend on your niche. But it’s a safe bet to update your website with any changes that may impact your customers.
Interact with other local businesses
Don’t be afraid to develop online relationships with other local businesses. It can boost your SEO and help drive customers to your business in real life. Participate in Twitter conversations with the coffee shop down the street. Instagram your favorite lunch from the local deli. The possibilities are endless. And the rewards are there for the taking. Customers like seeing that the businesses they love are real and approachable. Spreading some local love to the community is a great way to show your customers you care your city.
There are many white hat local SEO techniques that can help your businesses. The bottom line is to be authentic. Represent your business in an honest, transparent, and passionate way, and your customers will value you as a local business.