Search engine optimization is crucial for companies of any size, but particularly for those smaller companies operating in a local area. When you focus your SEO efforts to just the location that you serve, you’re narrowing down your competition and pointing your efforts only to customers and clients who can realistically use your services.
If you’re a small business owner attempting to do your own local SEO, you need to completely understand the task at hand. Although SEO is possible to complete without a professional’s help, you must attack the situation carefully and with all of your attention. Here are five tips any small business owner creating a local SEO strategy should consider.
1. Be Optimized for Mobile
Many local searches are done on the go, meaning users are searching for services from their cellphones or tablets. This means that you need to have a website that is fully responsive and will appear on any size screen. A fully optimized website allows users to easily browse your page from phones, tablets, and computers, giving potential customers the ability to find information about you regardless of where they are searching from. An easy to use website for mobile will keep on you on top of the search results lists.
2. Get Reviews
Local businesses are all about the customer service and experience that they provide, meaning reviews are crucial for competition. With the introduction of local websites like Yelp, TravelAdvisor, and Google My Business, potential customers can read reviews from past customers and clients, allowing them to make a decision on whether or not the establishment is worth visiting. Google acts as a filter to push businesses with strong reviews forward while keeping those with negative reviews on the last few pages. If you want to appear towards the top, encourage happy customers to leave you a review online.
3. Use Social Media
Social media works in a few ways to encourage your SEO strategy. First, it allows you to alert your fans and followers that new content or a new blog post is online. This can increase traffic to your page and allow Google to see that you have created a page worth reading. Second, social media can also be used to get links to your page. With each share that a reader posts, it counts as one backlink to your site.
4. Do Keyword Research
When selecting the keywords to target, you shouldn’t just select any string of words that you believe fits will with your products or services. You will want to do extensive research to determine which keywords are relevant but also have the space for you in their listing. Focus on finding a keyword that is frequently typed into the search bar but may not already be in use by your competition. You will also want to select multiple keywords around the same topic, allowing you to cover many different potential keywords.
5. Remember Your Customers
While your SEO strategy is designed for a computer, it is real humans who will actually end up reading the content on your website. You may want to check off all your SEO bases, but it could lead you to create a piece of content that isn’t interesting or readable. Even if you have all your SEO necessities in place, without attention from real people, you won’t see any jump in the search engine results. While you want to consider all the components of a great SEO strategy, you also want to create pages your readers will enjoy. Put your customers – not the computer – first.
Creating a local SEO strategy can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re not an expert. But you don’t need to be an expert to get a great SEO foundation. Follow these five tips and you’ll be on your way to appearing higher in the list of results and seeing more customers come through your door.