“Local SEO is all about reaching customers online that are in close proximity to your business by ranking higher in local search results. While a general SEO campaign will improve your rank in the search results for specific keywords and phrases, a successful local SEO strategy involves various additional tasks that will get people to your business’s website who are more likely to be potential customers because they are located near you. Here are the top things you should do to improve your small business’s local SEO.
1.) Check for NAP consistency across all of your online listings
NAP stands for name, address, and phone. You’ll get a ranking boost if your business’s information is accurate access the internet. Any website that your business’s name, address, and phone number are listed needs to have the correct information. Log in to your various listings like Yelp, Google Places, various local business directories, and YellowPages and check to make sure that your business’s information is the same everywhere.
2.) Use location-based keywords in the right places
If your business is based in Houston, you’ll want to include the keyword ” Houston” within your website’s content, especially on your homepage. Additionally, and even more importantly, you need to add your city or area’s name to your meta descriptions, image alt-attributes, and URLs where possible. If you aren’t familiar with these items, see if you can get in contact with your webmaster or web developer and ask them to add these in for you.
3.) Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing
Many small business owners know that they should claim and verify their Google My Business listing, but you’ll want to be sure that you have it filled out entirely and that you’re taking advantage of the free tools it provides for you. Here’s a quick list of what you should do with this listing:
- Fill out all of the information Google asks for about your business
- Make use of posts to add mini-ads to your listing that will show up on Google. You can use these to raise awareness for an event or sale or to create mini blog posts for SEO purposes. Posts remain active for seven days and you can add images and call-to-action buttons to make them more noticeable and enticing.
- Get familiar with the various tools you can use inside the Google My Business dashboard and take advantage of any that are relevant to your business.
- Log in and check your listing on a regular basis. The public is allowed to suggest edits to your listing, ask and answer questions about your business, and leave you reviews.
- Take the time to respond to any reviews left whether they are positive or negative. This shows your potential customers that you care about your customer’s experience and opinions.
4.) Build out citations (general and local)and upkeep them
The more high-quality citations your business’s website has, the better. A citation is somewhere that your business’s key info is published on the web. These will affect local search engine rankings positively or negatively depending on how well they are maintained. By creating citations for your business, you’re increasing your visibility on various platforms that your customer base may be using. By managing your citations, you are continuously checking for user edits and ensuring that all of the information listed is accurate. Citations are a major component of search engine algorithms and you’ll want to work them into your local SEO strategy if you intend to rank high in local search results.”