SEO Tips for Local Businesses

Written by: Jason Bayless | October 04, 2016
All too often local businesses believe they don’t need to do the same kind of marketing that a major company would need. They believe things like SEO and websites are not necessary and that they can rely on word of mouth or more traditional forms of marketing. Without the budget to hire a professional marketer, they choose instead to stick to what they know.

But SEO can actually be even more beneficial for small businesses. When you’re a small business, you’re working only in a particular location, meaning your pool of potential customers is smaller. While you may provide a better service or have better deals than your major competitors, the customers in your area may choose instead to work with who they’ve heard of before. If you want to increase the number of customers you see coming in to your storefront, you will need to get your name out there.

Here are some of the most important SEO tips for local businesses and what they can do to increase their business:
1. Get Reviews

Reviews are one of the biggest ways to improve an SEO strategy is through getting online reviews. When people post about their experience online, they’re either encouraging other individuals to visit this location or to stay away. Google takes this information and applies it to the recommendations they give in local searches.

If you want to find your company at the top of a list of search results, encourage your visitors and guests to leave a positive review online.
2. Update NAP Information

Your NAP information includes your name, address, and phone number. While this is such basic information for most companies, it is crucial for allowing customers to find your store location or contact you for more information. If you want to increase the amount of customers you see, you will want your NAP information to be updated and accurate.

NAP information also allows Google to make a stronger connection between your various pages, such as your website, your social media profiles, and whatever third party review sites you may be using, such as Yelp or Google My Business. Google will use your name, phone number, and address to distinguish that each page is yours and evaluate them collectively before determining where you should fall on the list of results.
3. Use Google My Business

Google is a business, and although we rely on them for so many things, they run like a business. This means that they will give priority to their own websites in a search because it keeps users on their page for longer periods of time. It also gives them the power to control how information is displayed. For local businesses, this means that a Google My Business page is one of the most crucial components of appearing on a local SEO search.

When you complete a local search, Google will put their Google My Business pages at the top of their list – regardless of how strong a website’s SEO strategy is. If you want to appear at the top of a results list, you won’t be able to do so without a Google My Business page. Claim your page and include all the necessary information to complete your profile. You will also want to encourage customers and clients to leave reviews on the Google My Business page.

You don’t need to be an SEO expert to create a local strategy to get you more business. Even with the power of word of mouth and recommendations, local business should utilize the web and local searches if they are serious about growing their company to new levels of success. The best place for a local business to get started is with reviews, a Google My Business page, and updated and accurate NAP information. With these three components in place, you’ll have a stable foundation for moving forward.