Are you looking for more local customers? If so, did you know that local SEO can help you get them? Most businesses are looking for the same thing, and most of them have no idea that local SEO can help them get what they need. With that being said, here are 10 local SEO tips that can help your business succeed online:
Tip #1: Choose Your Keywords with Care.
With SEO, the single most important thing is keywords. When you choose your keywords, you need to do so with care. Try to think about phrases that your target audience would actually type into the search engine when looking for your product or service. By knowing what keywords your customers are searching for, you can create content that is specifically tailored to and around those keywords and phrases. For keyword research, Google's Keyword Planner and KW Finder are both fantastic tools to use.
Tip #2: Develop High-Quality and Engaging Content.
To ensure that your website ranks highly in the search engines and with your audience, you need to ensure that your content is high-quality, unique and engaging. If you aren't sure what to write about, consider asking yourself questions that your customers may ask themselves. You can then develop content based around those questions. When all else fails, consider using Buzzsumo for inspiration. This is a site that you can enter topics into a search field and it provides you with some of the most popular social media content from the past year. If necessary, you can always hire professional writers to create content for you on a weekly basis.
Tip #3: Create Separate Pages for Different Locations.
If your business is physically located in more than one place, then you need to make sure that your website has a different page for each of those locations. Otherwise, having all of your physical locations on a single website page is bad for SEO. When creating those pages, you need to ensure that the pages have targeted descriptions, title tags, as well as content so that each of the business locations will receive targeted search engine optimization.
Tip #4: Claim Local Business Listings.
From Google My Business and Bing Local to Yelp and Yellow Pages, you need to make sure that your claim and fully optimize your local business listings and profiles. Make sure that you always use your real company name, physical address (no P.O. boxes), choose the appropriate categories, etc. Also, you need to ensure that you remove duplicate listings, if there are any, as these will only hurt you. If you aren't sure which sites you are currently on, you can utilize a free local business search to find out.
Tip #5: Obtain Solid Citations of Your NAP.
Another word for citation is mention, and your NAP is your name, address, and phone number. The citations of your NAP are found all across the internet. The more of them that there are, the better the chances are that your business will be validated - at least in the eyes of Google and other search engines. A good rule of thumb is to have around 30 to 50 NAP mentions with the accurate information. When it comes to your NAP citations, it is imperative that they match exactly. Consistency is key. You can run a scan to see how your business is listed.
Tip #6: Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews.
Believe it or not, customer reviews have extreme power when it comes to search engine rankings -- not to mention the fact that they can help convert prospective customers into actual customers. For that reason, it is to your benefit to encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business. It is an easy, economical and effective way to grow your business. However, try to only focus on a few different review sites, such as Google My Business, Facebook, and/or Yelp. When you have chosen the sites you want to focus on, make sure to add a link on your website to your review profiles for your customers.
Tip #7: Don't Go Overboard with Optimization.
While you may not realize it, it is possible to over-optimize your website. When this happens, it actually hurts your website and rankings. One of the most popular ways to do this is with keyword stuffing. When you utilize this particular technique, search engines will actually penalize you, which is the last thing in the world that you want to happen when you're trying to succeed in the online business world. Use your keywords naturally throughout your text and don't force them in a million times.
Tip #8: Do Optimize for Mobile Devices.
Today, there are millions and millions of consumers that are finding local businesses with their mobile devices. So, "local" and "mobile" are now two words that are very important together, especially for businesses. You need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and that it is specifically optimized for consumers who will be searching on their smartphones. Otherwise, you will miss out on capturing a massive customer base.
Tip #9: Utilize Social Media.
When it comes to SEO, social media plays a huge role thanks to the shift in technology over the last decade or so. Therefore, if your business does not have a social media presence, you are significantly hurting. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are the some of the best social media outlets to start with, although it is a good idea to perform market research to determine which social media networks that you need to utilize.
Tip #10: Don't Rule Out the Use of Images and Video.
Content isn't just about text. You can't forget images and video, as both of these have the power to really grab the attention of your audience and convert them into customers. Plus, they're essential for SEO. Use them on your business website, in your local business listings, and on your social media pages. Just don't forget to optimize them with your local keyword terms to get the most use out of them in terms of SEO.
For more local SEO advice or to talk to us about getting start on a local SEO campaign for your business, reach out to us at WebDetail today. The sooner you talk to us, the sooner we can get your business seen by your target audience and boost your traffic/sales.