Local SEO has become an integral part of digital marketing for businesses of all sizes. As more consumers are using their mobile devices to search for businesses to patronize, it is imperative that your business can be found via these local searches.
Unfortunately, most businesses do not have the time or the expertise to implement an effective SEO strategy. However, there are a few things you can do that will greatly help your local marketing efforts.
1 – Claim Your Business On Google
This is an obvious step but you would be surprised at the number of businesses that have not done this. This is one f the easiest and most effective digital marketing steps you can take.
Claiming your business name on Google My Business will only take a few minutes and it will make you eligible for many of the Google services, like Google Maps. Since Google dominates search, it will help you immensely to be a part of their ecosystem.
2 – Verify Your Name, Address, and Phone Number
Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) must be that same across the Internet if you want your marketing efforts to bear fruit.
It is advisable to use the exact same NAP that you used for your Google My Business page for everything else. If you used “Bob’s Plumbing, LLC” for your GMB, then use that exact same name for your Yelp page and all other directory profiles.
Find all the placed that your business is listed and double check to make sure your NAP is consistent on all those properties. Make sure you add your NAP on your company website as well.
3 – Get Your Business On Local Directories
When it comes to local citations (directory listings) you should be thinking quality over quantity. Get your business listed on trusted directories like Yelp, YP.com, and Superpages just to name a few.
There are also directories that are industry specific that you should get listed in as well. If you are a wedding planner you will want to be listed in directories that focus on weddings, event planning, and the like. One way to find these directories it to search for your competitors and see where they are listed, then get listed in those directories as well.
4 – Encourage Customer Reviews
You have delighted customers so you might as well encourage them to write some positive reviews for your business. This is one of the easiest ways to help your rankings in the search results. Google loves reviews so you should be focused on getting as many as possible.
Keep in mind that most potential customers will read two to three reviews before making a buying decision.
Ask your current customers to leave you positive reviews on Yelp and Google if they are happy with your service. Some businesses even set up a bulletin board with copies of customer reviews in order to encourage others to do the same.
5 – Optimize Website Images
While search engines are not able to determine what an image is, they can “read” the file name and description of said image. Therefore, you should use local keywords when naming your images. For example, an image on a local plumbing website might have a filename like, “sandiegoplumbing.jpg” and have a description like, “24 hour San Diego plumbing.”
Go through all the images on your website and make these changes and you will be surprised at how effective it will be.
By following these five steps you will be miles ahead of your competition. There is much more to local SEO than these simple steps and it may be beneficial to hire a local SEO specialist. However, this is an excellent place to start.