So many people are online nowadays that it is pivotal for any small business to create a digital marketing plan to boost their visibility online. However, it is equally as important to focus these efforts on potential customers in the local area, because you’ll need to create awareness of your brand on a local level.
This is where local SEO comes in, and here are some hacks that will improve any small business’ local SEO efforts in a jiffy.
Don’t forget the neighboring towns
Google works through a geo-targeted algorithm. This means that when a customer goes to Google and types in “plumber services,” they will only get results of places in their area. A business can go the next step and include their location with their keyword to appear in most searches. When you do this, don’t forget neighboring areas, not just your actual city name. Include suburbs, different ZIP codes, and even county names to increase the chances that you’ll get visitors from the surrounding locations.
Create and optimize your Google My Business listing
Every business needs a Google My Business profile to give potential customers extra information about their company. The business profile will show up when a user searches your business name, off to the right hand side. To correctly optimize this, make sure to:
- Include all updated company info including opening hours, location, contact information, and business websites including social media.
- Verify your account and claim your business listing
- Add pictures of the location, staff, and past work done
- Respond to all comments and ratings
Nothing is worse than information that is out-of-date, so make sure to develop this into a habit every few months or so.
Link build with easy targets
Building a diverse backlink profile is a tried-and-true SEO best practice. However, this isn’t a perfect science just yet, because not all backlinks are the same. The best way to ensure the Google bots see your website is to have websites in your business niche link to you. When creating a list of opportunities, look for places in your local area (even competitors) that can benefit from a link exchange. You can find some ideas by going through Yelp directories, local business websites, social media profiles of your competitors, looking at some local press, and even the chamber of commerce. Again, the more local-specific websites that link to you, the better your local SEO reach will be.
Encourage customer reviews
A great way to boost clientele is to encourage existing customers to write reviews. Customer feedback is a powerful method of converting potential leads, because most internet users tend to look at other people’s experiences before they make a decision. Positive customer reviews are extremely important if you want to stand out from your competition, and the best way to do this is with glowing ratings. Plus, Google considers these reviews as a positive thing in their ranking algorithm, so encourage them to the best of your ability.
Optimize for mobile
Smartphones are everywhere nowadays, and everyone is shopping on their phone. You’ll want to ensure you have the best chances of being seen, so it is critical that you optimize your website for mobile. Remember, instant gratification reigns supreme when it come to online shopping, making this one of the key business decisions you can make.
With these hacks in mind, you’ll slowly but surely be on your way to boosting your local SEO efforts. Slow and steady wins the race!