If you’ve got a small business, you’re probably pretty awesome, but are you doing the best you can to promote your awesomeness? A good place to start is with your local SEO.
In order to get the support you need, you have to gain exposure, admittedly there are many ways to contribute to this, but maximizing your local SEO is a smart, necessary, and an easy place to begin. Local SEO enables you to target your geographical area, therefore, your target audience. If you want your business to pop up when a user searches for “your product/service near me” you need the proper SEO. So let’s explore how to make it happen.
What Exactly Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a strategy that works to get you that high rank in local organic searches. Broken down, it’s based mostly on three things: relevance, distance, and prominence. It’s your job to make yourself prominent, and in doing so, relevance (what the user is searching for) and distance (where the user is located and if they’re close to you) will follow suit.
Is It Really Important?
We wouldn’t be talking about it if it wasn’t. Local SEO gives your business capabilities that allow you to get the customers you’re looking for, directly from your website. Although it takes some time and patience, you will grow your online presence if you follow these steps.
Consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Sounds easy, but pay attention: your business’s name, address, and phone numbers should all be the same across the board (or in this case, across the web). If they’re not, it will affect your rankings negatively. Put some time in if you need to, but consistency is key, and Google loves consistency. Here are some effective tips:
- Make a document for reference that tells you exactly how your NAP reads on your website
- When linking anything back to your website, match your NAP exactly how it appears on your website
- Your NAP should be on the footer of every page of your website, and it should look exactly the same in every footer
- Your NAP needs to be exactly the same on all of your social media platforms, listings/directories, any mentions, ads, etc.
- Have you abbreviated anything, did you use parentheses around your area code, did you use a dash or dot in your phone number- keep it all exactly the same
- If you must change any of your information, be sure you do it everywhere- EXACTLY (I hope by now you get that your NAP needs to match exactly... everywhere)
In doing this, you will increase your credibility, which is important to your search engine.
Know Your Listings Well
Where are you listed, are you in online directories? If so, check yourself out because these will help your local SEO, too. Make sure your information is accurate and consistent and you’ll be considered a credible business in the eyes of the search engines. And if you get yourself a boat-load of listings, you’re even better off. Search engines adore a listing, get to the top of their lists faster using different directories. Make sure you’re on (and exactly matching your website’s NAP) My Google Business, Yelp, Bing Places, and Facebook, but look into getting on the numerous others, as well (yellowpages.com, LinkedIn, and more- https://www.localseoguide.com/best-local-business-directories-seo/).
Get ‘Em To Like You (And Tell the World They Do)
Reviews are important, so be the best you can be. There are many sites devoted solely to reveiws, you want to be there and you want to be there in a positive way- possible customers look on these sites to find out about you. Don’t be shy about requesting that a satisfied customer leave you a five-star rating on these sites. In doing so, you’ll get more visibility while increasing credibility: a winning combo. And hey, we’re not perfect- you may get a negative review here and there. Just act fast. Show the online community, inclusive of your potential teammates, that you want to right your wrong. Quickly and effectively managing any mistakes you’ve made, is just as important to see as the good reviews are.