Basic Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses in 2017

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 18, 2017

Improving the local SEO of your business’s site is an excellent way to boost your organic search traffic. What’s even better is that more of your search traffic will be your target market – local consumers who can visit your business and make purchases, instead of people who don’t live in the area.

When you get started on local SEO, it’s best to stick to the basics as you learn the ropes. Even making easy changes and improvements can lead to dramatic results. Here are a few basic local SEO tips for 2017.

Put Your Business’s Location Throughout Its Site

Every page on your business’s site should include its name, address and phone number. To make this easy and non-intrusive, you can put this information at the top or bottom of every page.

It’s also good to incorporate location details in your site’s copy as often as you can, as long as it still looks natural. For example, instead of just saying that you offer professional cleaning services, you could mention that you offer professional cleaning services throughout Brooklyn or throughout the greater Los Angeles area. If possible, include landmarks or other local details, such as sports teams and things to do. Every local item helps you rank higher in the search results for your area, and it adds life to your copy.

Get Your Business Listed on Local Sites

One of the ways search engines determine which businesses are local is by looking through site that list local businesses. Yelp is one of the most popular sites in this regard, but Facebook, Yellowbook, and TripAdvisor are all also important. Check that your business is listed for these sites and that the details are accurate.

Add information to your listings, such as your URL and what you offer. You can also include photos and sometimes even videos, depending on the site. Make sure that each listing site has the correct category for your business.

Encourage Reviews

Search engines take your business’s online reviews into account for local search results. If your business has a large number of positive reviews, it’s more likely to achieve a high ranking.

Ask your customers to leave you reviews online. You can put a small sign up in your business or send the request via email. A simple reminder is often all it takes for a customer to write you a review. You should also respond to the reviews that you receive, whether it was positive or negative. For positive reviews, you can simply thank the customer and say that you look forward to seeing them again. For negative reviews, apologize and offer a resolution.

There’s one big mistake that many businesses make when it comes to reviews – writing fake reviews or hiring people to write fake reviews. Taking this kind of shortcut is a bad idea, because it’s usually obvious that these reviews are fake. Once you’re found out, search engines could penalize you, and your reputation with customers will take a hit, as it makes you look untrustworthy.

Final Thoughts

Local SEO doesn’t need to be a huge challenge. You can spend an afternoon implementing these tips and start seeing increased traffic right away. Start with your business’s site, then move on to its pages on the local listing sites. Once you’ve set those up, find out how you’re going to get in touch with customers about leaving reviews, and make sure that you’re responding to all the reviews you get.