Many of the search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that national companies use to draw new website visitors are simply not going to work for a local company, because they are not focused on your specific, geographical service area. Rather than relying on the larger-scale SEO strategies, you need to focus on local SEO.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a branch of Internet marketing that helps businesses find and attract local customers online. Below are four factors that can influence your rankings in local Internet searches. Focus on these consistently, and you’ll attract more qualified local leads every month.
1. Local Name/Address/Phone Number (NAP) Citations
It’s not uncommon to find multiple listings around the web for your business. Customers may have added your business NAP on a review site or on a blog without your knowledge. That is a good thing. But sometimes well-meaning customers and reviewers will get the spelling of your name wrong, or they might have a typo in the address or phone number. If you’ve changed location and/or phone number, those old listings may not have been updated.
All of these inconsistent NAPs add up and send scattered signals to Google and other search engines. If you can round up all those listings, claim them and correct them as needed, then that unified presence can become a very strong ranking factor and drive higher levels of local traffic to your website.
2. Google My Business (GMB) Page
Adding your info to review websites and apps is important, and more info on that is listed below, but Google My Businesses (GMB) is so important that it deserves more emphasis. If you haven’t yet claimed and filled out your GMB page, now is the time to do so. Be sure to include your up-to-date NAP, your business hours, website, photos and reviews. Take the time to do this. Not only is GMB one of the most powerful things you can do to boost your local SEO results, it’s also free!
3. Review Websites And Review Apps
Positive reviews are like gold in today’s mobile-search economy. Always encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business on Yelp!, Angie’s List, Red Beacon, Google Reviews (GMB) and The Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Also, make sure your profiles on all those sites and apps are completely filled out, complete with consistent NAP citations and photos – photos of your building’s exterior and interior, your happy team members at work, your products and your before and after shots. Potential customers like to see photos, and search engines like to see them too.
4. Links And Reviews From Local Websites
Along with getting out there on national review sites and apps, you’ll also want to get links and mentions from local bloggers, local media outlets, your suppliers and also from other local businesses that are related to your industry but that are not direct competition.