For service providers, retail shops, restaurants, and any other local business, a powerful online presence is just as important as your location and offline marketing efforts. With an ever-increasing percentage of people searching for companies in their neighborhoods before hopping in their car to go out or calling for more information, your success depends largely on a properly optimized website.
Local SEO is the key, and both on-page and off-site best practices are how you turn foot traffic alone into a successful, ever-growing, profitable business.
Local On-Page SEO
Marketers have more control over what exists on their own websites, so local on-page SEO is the best place to start. Use keyword phrases with regional names of your town, city, state, or another specified area. Do not focus on too many different ones, however.
People and search engine crawler bots may get confused if they encounter pet shop New York, pet shop Buffalo, pet shop Erie County on the same page. If your business has multiple branches in different areas, the best option is to create multiple versions of the same page with different optimization efforts.
Follow all current optimization practices closely. Add your location to the title text, headings, alt tags, and page content. Absolutely use the correct name, phone number, and address (NAP) everywhere online. Learn and implement schema.org markup for local optimization. Google offers various tools such as the Data Highlighter to help. This structured website code points search engines directly at the most important information outside of just the NAP.
Local Off-Page SEO
Spread your NAP and company message over all the professional-quality social media sites, business directories, and especially your own Google My Business page. For best results, it must be identical on each site. Other options for backlinks include the local Chamber of Commerce directory and any local professional groups. Become active in city or neighborhood social media and share your NAP responsibly.
Another huge part of off-page local SEO reviews. First, claim your spot on sites like Yelp and Merchant Circle. Take the time to fill out the data fields completely. Then, encourage customers or clients to leave reviews for you. These are the things that people share with friends and family on social media, which improves your business reach and SEO in a wonderfully automatic way.
In the grand plan for marketing your business, creating an online platform that reaches the right consumers means a greater chance at profits. Proper search engine optimization feeds this engine organically more than any other practice. A current focus on geographically-specific optimization helps, even more, to get your company to the top of the results pages and into the local three-pack on Google. Attract more area customers and clients with both on-page and off-page local SEO efforts.