As a business owner, you probably know that being easily found online is key way to gain customers, thus improving the success of your venture. However, you may not have any idea how to accomplish this goal or that targeting local customers can be a key aspect of increasing your sales. Creating an online presence is not as overwhelming as it may seem, and it can truly make a difference in your bottom line. Include these components in order to pursue the best local SEO strategy for your small business.
Ensure Your Website is Optimized
While it may seem obvious that your website should be optimized for search engines, this important step is often neglected. Keeping up with your website and making sure it contains key search terms relating to your product or service is of utmost importance in online rankings. Adding local touches to various aspects of your site will only increase your visibility, especially among the local audience who is most likely to be your perfect customer demographic. Be sure that locally related key words are included in your site, not just key words that relate to what you offer. In addition, if your website doesn’t have a local reference in its URL, the time is now to fix that. Adding the type of business and location to your web address, along with your company name, makes a dramatic difference in SEO results. You can always have multiple domain names that direct to your main site address.
Is your business contact information on every page of your site, not just the contact page? It’s probably not. Adding the name of your business, address and phone number is an easy way to improve SEO. Finally, add a section about the local area. Include surrounding landmarks and interesting facts about your neighborhood. This will help customers to find you in the real world and online.
List Your Business on Local Sites
There are a number of directories, web pages and social media sites in which people look for local business information. Your site needs to be listed at these places, and the information should be up to date. Third party sites like Yelp, YP, Facebook, Google+ and Dexknows are regularly scanned by the search engines, so you should have an updated and accurate presence there.
In addition, add your website URL, photos, videos and a summary of your business in order to appeal to locals using the sites. Make sure you are listed in the most relevant category, as this will impact searches. Take time to create an individual listing for multiple business locations, if this applies. Doing so will increase your visibility. One final note regarding third party sites. You absolutely must take time to respond to any reviews customers leave. This action will help to build relationships that increase the likelihood of return visits. Also, be sure to address any negative reviews and make things right with dissatisfied customers. You’ll improve your reputation and allow other users to see your professionalism.
Engage in Quality Linking
Links from other sites to yours can increase SEO, establishing your credibility with the search engines. However, the links must be related to your business and be of quality or else they could actually count against you. To get more links, be sure to share updates on social media that include the links you want to promote. Ask users to visit your links or provide incentive to do so in the form of a contest, viral content or through asking engaging questions. Make sure your links are included in every email marketing message you send out, as well as in your newsletter.
Link to local business in the form of a directory, blog or other creative means. This will encourage reciprocation on their part and add to your quality local SEO links. Always be sure your linking efforts are aimed at quality, first and foremost. Don’t get scammed by anyone promising to garner you tons of links through posting on forums or other methods. These are inauthentic and will hurt you in the end.
While there are other techniques to boosting your local SEO, these strategies will get you started toward an enhanced web presence.