For many businesses, local SEO is the last thing on their list. After all, who needs SEO when you’re only advertising to a certain portion of the population? Isn’t that what paid advertising is for?
While you can pay to reach these people, why not take some time to set up your local SEO and make the customers come to you? If this is your first time focusing on this, never fear, we have a checklist ready that will guide you every step of the way. Follow along with the categories, or print and out and check the boxes off as you go.
To begin with, make sure the hard data on your website is accurate. This includes:
– Making sure you have a “”Contact”” page for each one of your locations, and the information in it actually leads to someone.
– A highly visible, and clickable, phone number.
– A static navigation menu at the top of every page that links to all your pages.
– Accurate name and contact info for all of your locations in the footer of every page.
Next, make sure your content is both high-quality and relevant to your area:
– Make sure your promotions are specific to each city you operate in. Don’t advertise a special for Chattanooga, for example, when the promotion is only available in Nashville.
– Put biographical information of your staff members for each individual store to help potential customers relate to your company.
– Conduct interviews with experts in your local towns to provide region-specific content for your site.
– Sponsor local teams or events, and advertise it on your site.
– Gather testimonials from customers and place them in prominent positions on your website.
= Don’t forget about videos and images! Some of the most viral content on the web today comes from things people see instead of read.
– If possible, do a “”tips”” or “”DIY”” section that are applicable to individual towns or regions.
After that, focus on your citations, or the references to your business that appear on your website:
– Build citations for real locations, not P.O. boxes or virtual offices.
– Focus on major local business data aggregator sites, but don’t overlook auxiliary sites like chambers of commerce or professional organizations.
– Remove any duplicate citations
– Don’t be afraid to use abbreviations, but make sure they are appropriate and not confusing.
– You can still use hidden citations if you want to keep your information private, but make sure you use the platforms that allow them, as not all do.
Don’t forget to clean up your duplicate listings:
Get as many reviews as possible:
– Review the guidelines of individual services before you start asking for reviews, then communicate that to your customer base.
– Focus on Google reviews as they seem to impact the search rankings the greatest.
– List your business on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Focus on industry-specific sites to start.
– Ask for reviews from your customers, but not all at once, and not in the same way.
Next, Get On Social Media
– Get a handle on one platform before moving to the next.
– Remember that social media exists to assist customers, not to sell to them.
– Make one person on staff your social media person, and have them interact with customers.
– Don’t be afraid to try different platforms. Some sites work better for local businesses than others, so get as involved as is reasonably possible.