As a small business owner, you’re often forced to cut costs whenever possible. And it’s easy to see SEO as an unnecessary expense. But inbound leads cost 61% less than cold calling and other outbound leads.
If you haven’t yet invested in local SEO ranking strategy, now’s the time to start. We’ve got some of the top tactics an SEO specialist uses to help local businesses gain a competitive edge online.
Ready to learn what they are? Let’s get started.
Optimize Your Website
Any good SEO specialist will tell you that great SEO starts with your website. It’s crucial that you have a home, about, and contact page on your website. But you may also choose to have a services page, and/or a blog.
If your business has less than 10 locations, you should list your addresses in the footer of your website. It’s also a good idea to add a Google Map to your contact page. And, since mobile searching has overtaken desktop searching, you’ll need to ensure all phone numbers are clickable.
Launch a Content Strategy
In order to attract links, you need to launch a local content strategy. Content and links are two of the most important ranking factors for Google.
The first step is to create a consistent content strategy like regular blogging. Then, implement localized keywords so you can easily be found online. Optimize blog and webpage content with variations of your keywords, and be sure to post original content so you don’t get pinged by Google.
if you work with an SEO specialist, they’ll tell you that great reviews are a crucial part of any local SEO strategy. List your business on a variety of sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Google My Business, and Bing Places.
It’s also a good idea to use review management tools like ReviewTrackers or BirdEye. These will notify you of any customer reviews that require an immediate response.
Encourage customers to write a review online. But whatever you do, don’t pay for fake business reviews which can lead to your account being suspended.
Use Social Media
Social media is included with most SEO services, and it’s important that you create a social media strategy.
Be sure to claim a business profile on all major social media channels. You’ll also need to post regularly on the social media channels that are likely to be most popular with your target customers.
Most importantly, localize all channels and link them back to your website.
Build Those Links
If you want to beat your local competition to the top result in Google, you’ll need to build some links. One way to do this is to reach out to local bloggers and offer a guest post in exchange for a link back to your website.
You can also write blog posts about other local businesses in exchange for links back.
Citations are partial or complete references to your website, address, name, and phone number online.
While you can use manual citations, these can be tedious to manage if you need to rebrand or move. Instead, consider using automatic citations. Some third-party options include Yext, MozLocal, BrightLocal, and Whitespark.
Meta descriptions and title tags are customizable HTML elements that reflect your website’s content. The text of these tags is displayed in Google’s search results.
Google has increased the width of the search result area to 60px. This means that you should take advantage of this space and use it to advertise your business.
Looking for an SEO Specialist?
The above tips will help you get started with your local SEO.
Remember: SEO is a continual process, and you’ll need to stay on top of new developments and algorithms to ensure your business ranks well.
Have you used these tips? Leave a comment below or check out some of our other posts to learn more about SEO.