It's one of the biggest questions a small business owner deals with: How to get more clients or customers?
Traditional marketing has a place but it also has a cost.
The easiest and most cost-effective action a business can take is the management of their online presence.
By utilizing proper search engine optimization (otherwise known as SEO), you take control of search engine result pages (SERPs.) This is the process by which Google ranks you in their search engine.
Instead of chasing a client-base, you ensure your visibility when they seek your services. Consider how high your conversion rates will be when the potential client is the active seeker.
With that in mind, let's take a look at 6 local SEO strategies that will literally put you on the (Google) map.
Audit Your Presence
One of the biggest steps you can take to ensuring proper SEO is auditing your online presence. Make sure that all information about your business is consistent.
Go through any and all business directories you may appear in. Delete any duplicates and correct any errors. It's very important that business details are written out identically in every instance. If you use Street instead of St as your standard, ensure that's how it appears on every listing.
All names, phone numbers and email addresses need to be uniform to qualify as proper SEO. It can be tedious work but it's the only way to satisfy Google's SEO best practices.
Take Advantage of Google My Business
Google is in the business of matching queries with responses. It's in their best interest to ensure that whatever business best represents a service is the highest-ranked result.
Part of achieving that is the Google My Business service. It's a free online service they provide that allows you to list your business. Use it as the template on which you define your brand's online presence.
The better you optimize this page, the better your rankings. Provide as much specific information as you can. Use your logo as the thumbnail and include images where possible. Even a picture of a storefront has value.
A brief but concise description also helps, as this is the content provided in the search result. Consider the keywords you use in your description as this affects your SEO.
You can also manage multiple locations with GMB. This makes it easier to ensure that all your information is consistent for each location.
Have A Landing Page for Each Location
One factor in local SEO strategies that has a lot of value is quite obvious: location. If your business has more than one location, you can use this to leverage results.
Build a separate landing page for each of your businesses locations. Remember to include all of the pertinent information in the same format. The more Google knows about you and where you are located, the better they can place you in their searches.
Be sure that these pages have real value. Including location-specific information to help add value. An on-page map helps, as does any rich content like video or images.
The rise of mobile browsing and searching has resulted in Google tailoring searches specific to location. Take advantage of this as local searches have the highest conversion rates.
One of the strongest factors for local SEO strategies is client/user feedback.
Legitimacy is key to being valued by Google. If you can get clients and customers to provide a positive review as a client, you gain credibility both with SEO and future clients.
These reviews are recognized as user-created content. That means you have the added weight of somebody else providing you with links. Also, the more content created with your business name, the more valuable you are.
Aside from the SEO benefits, just think of the value positive reviews provide prospective clients. By demonstrating the satisfaction you can provide your existing client-base you become much more appealing to anyone seeking your services.
Build A Community
SEO places a lot of value on backlinks. These are any external pages that link back to you.
By building relationships with your partners and sponsorships you build a mutually beneficial relationship in which each encourages the other's SEO.
By taking local SEO strategies to heart you can apply this approach to your community. Reach out to related pages in your locality.
This creates an organic environment where your partnership creates locally-based content. This will provide excellent results for your SEO.
Be sure to reach out to local media as well. Any coverage you can garner acts as an advertisement for your business. Many cities have programs to boost local businesses. These are free opportunities to make an impression.
Use Social Media
The importance of social media cannot be overstated. With the main providers offering free services, these platforms have become the water-cooler people gather around to share opinions.
Social media pages have started to turn up more often on SERP's. Participating on the platforms allows you to foster strong relationships that encourage content created in your brand's name.
If you're regularly creating content anyway, social media provides an organic way to distribute your work to your audience. This creates a place for a natural conversation to take place where every interaction boosts your SEO.
Final Thoughts on Local SEO Strategies
It's not enough to just provide a service. The number of businesses competing in all areas requires that you need to do more to make yourself visible.
SEO is the best way to make sure that you're visible to anyone searching for your services. By utilizing local SEO strategies you ensure visibility to anyone searching in your geographic region.
Many of the strategies suggested require little skill. If you can take the time to ensure that every mention of your business online is accurate, you've already cleared a huge hurdle in rankings.
Specific and appropriate content shared across social media creates a loop of content created around your brand. It builds both real-life relationships while improving your SEO ranking.
If you have any questions or need some assistance we're always here to help.