By: Fran Hylinski
10 Local SEO Tips for Your Local Business
The small business world is embracing all aspects of business marketing;
especially online marketing. Due to the fact that most people go online to search
for local products or services, businesses have to do everything in their power to
get in front of them if they want to capture some of that business.
One of the most effective ways to do so is by making sure their business comes
up high in the search engine results when consumers are looking for what they
have to offer.
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of preparing your website
and other web properties to get more targeted exposure. There are a lot of
different ways to optimize your online properties including on-site optimization,
off-site optimization, local directories, and much more.
However, many business owners often become confused about what they should
be focusing on when it comes to local SEO.
Here are 10 tips to make sure you are on the right track with local SEO and
gaining more local leads and customers for your business:
1. Claim Your Business on Local Directories and Review Sites – You’ve
probably heard of Google+ Local (formerly Google Places), Bing Local,
Yahoo Local, Yelp, Merchant Circle, and other local business listing websites.
Claiming your business listing on these platforms is the first step to more
local visibility. These sites allow your business to come up when local
consumers are specifically looking for your type of product or service. Not
only that, but your customers can leave feedback about your business on
2. Ask Your Customers for Reviews – The more reviews you have, the
more credible your company is in the eyes of potential customers. Many
consumers today go online to find local products and services. However, if
they run into a business with no reviews – or only negative reviews – they
can be instantly turned off and go with a competitor with a good amount of
positive reviews. Good customer reviews simply help businesses gain the
3. Use the Same Business Name, Address, and Phone Number Across
the Board – Whether it’s your website or your local directory listing pages,
make sure your business name, address, and phone number are the exact
same on all of them. This helps the search engines verify your business is
who you say you are, which helps rank your pages higher in the search
engines. If your business has multiple locations, you will need unique pages
and listings for each location for full optimization.
4. Use a Local Phone Number on Your Website – Your business name,
phone number, and address should be posted on every page of your
website in order to help the search engines verify your geographic location.
However, many businesses make the mistake of only putting a toll-free
number on their website. Use your local phone number so your website is
“localized” and matches your other citations and local directory listings.
5. Get Links from Local Sources – Connecting with other local businesses in
your industry can help your search engine rankings over time. You can
trade links with other relevant local businesses, which will give your site
more juice. This also allows you to network with peers in your area, which
could lead to endless possibilities for further business growth.
6. Add Fresh, Unique Content to Your Site Consistently – The search
engines love websites that have fresh, unique contend added on a
consistent basis. This is an indication that the business is still relevant and
booming. One way of publishing content to your website is by adding a blog
to it. Here, you can post industry news, announcements about your
business, helpful tips related to your industry, or anything else that your
local target audience would find valuable.
7. Include Keywords in Your Website Page Titles – This is crucial to local
SEO even though many businesses forget to include page titles all together.
Every page on your website can be indexed by the search engines, so be
sure to include a title for every page; include some of the popular keywords
in the title along with your city name for the best results.
8. Make Sure You Use the Right Keywords – Optimizing your site with
keywords works great, unless you’re using the wrong keywords. A lot of
businesses “guess” which keywords may be getting the most searches.
Unfortunately, they’re usually wrong. The best way to choose keywords is
by using a keyword tool to see exactly which keywords consumers are
typing into the search engines when looking for your type of business.
9. Use Your Location in the Optimization Process – A lot of businesses
only focus on keywords and ignore their location when performing SEO.
However, if your goal is to attract local consumers in your city, you
definitely should include geographic terms in your optimization process.
This will let the search engines know exactly where you are so they can
accurately match you with consumers who are in your area.
10. Keep Branding Tight – Believe it or not, some businesses out there
operate under different variations of their name, which could cause a lot of
confusion for consumers. For instance, some businesses use abbreviations
of their business name at times, and use their full business name at other
times. Choose one name for your business and use this name on all of your
web properties. This will make your local SEO efforts much more effective
in the long-run and cause less confusion to your local market.
Local SEO can seem like a foreign language unless you have experience.
However, it’s really a simple concept once you understand all of the important
components and how they work together. Optimizing your website and other
online properties requires a lot of preparation, analyzing, and patience. But the
rewards are well-worth every bit of anguish you may experience along the way.
Need some assistance with your local SEO efforts?
I specialize in helping local businesses here in the (Sunnyvale, Ca) area connect
with local consumers by establishing a strong, positive online presence. Contact
me at (408-480-5637) for a free, no obligation consultation!