Effective Local SEO Tips for Local Business

Written by: Jason Bayless | November 17, 2016
SEO for small business and local companies takes a different approach than a large, national company. Rather than looking to target individuals from all over the country or world, a small business focuses only on the area that they serve, meaning they need to appear in “near me” or local searches.

A local search for small business uses a different set of criteria, including reviews, links, local websites, and more. Rather than hoping to make online purchases, a small business focuses on attracting customers online to bring them in their front door. If you hope to appear towards the top of the list, try the following tips and tricks.
1. Research Thoroughly

One of the biggest components of any SEO strategy is what keywords are used. For both local searches and national searches, you will want to find a keyword that is frequently used but does not have so much competition that it would be too much of a struggle to make your way to the top of the list. Instead, you want to find a keyword that you can efficiently target.

You will also want to have a few keywords that you are targeting, not just one or two. To create a sufficient SEO strategy, you will want to create groups of phrases that all center around one idea. Then, find 5-10 keywords for each group.
2. Cover All Your Bases

When you start to implement your keywords into your website, you will want to optimize each of your website pages completely. Rather than just putting the keywords throughout the content, you will want to also include your targeted keywords in the meta title, the meta description, the URL, and the H1 tag. When you include your keywords in each of these locations, you’re allowing the Google search engine crawlers to find your page more easily.
3. Get Reviews

Reviews are one of the biggest factors of a local search because it helps Google understand which businesses are worth visiting and which are not. For small, local businesses – primarily restaurants or other businesses that revolve around customer service – reviews let potential visitors know if the business is worth their time.  Because Google does not want to send their users to a business that is consistently providing less than great service, online reviews help them make better recommendations. Encourage your happy customers to leave you a review online on Yelp, Google My Business, or even Facebook. If you get a negative review from an unhappy customer, respond and let them know you’d like to help solve the problem.
4. Use Social Media

Social media allows you to connect with your customers and clients, but it also gives you an opportunity to continue pushing your SEO strategy. To begin, your social media platforms give you the chance to let your fans, followers, and friends know that you have added new content to your website, creating a steady flow of traffic that Google is sure to notice. But social media also allows you to build links to your site. Now that Google includes social media posts in determining your SEO rank, each share on social is a link to your website. The more shares that you get, the more credible your page will appear to Google. The more credible your page is, the higher it will appear on a list of results.

Small businesses too often assume that they don’t need to go through the same marketing tactics that larger companies would. Without a marketing department or the money to hire a professional marketer, they believe they can just get by from more traditional avenues. But as times change and SEO becomes increasingly important for all businesses, even small and local companies will need to create a strategy that works for them. With these four tips, your local SEO strategy will be solid.