While small businesses like yours may not be able to compete for “head keyword” terms, that doesn’t mean you can’t dominate local search results. Any time someone searches for something “near me,” you could be coming up in those results.
Here are some ways that you can own the local search space and grow your business.
Optimize Your Website
Making sure your website is up to date and SEO friendly is the first step to dominating the local search results.
You may need to hire a web designer with SEO experience to make sure your site is up to date, but they should be able to update the elements of your site you need to get the leg up on your competition.
This includes editing your website’s:
- Meta titles
- Meta descriptions
- Schema markup
- Duplicate content
- Mobile usability
- Page speed
Another way to get more traffic to your site and business is to start writing for your local audience.
Any time there is a holiday, local major event, season change, etc. there can be an evergreen piece of content to go along with it. You can write how-tos, DIYs, informational posts, or share a customer story. Find out what interests the local market or what they want to know, then write about it for them.
Find Your Search Keywords
Utilizing keywords your customers are searching and putting them in your blog or content will also help. There are many free or paid tools like Ahrefs and Moz that can get you the keyword insights you need to find out what people are searching for.
You’ll be able to find out how people are phrasing their questions and what keywords are going to be the best for you to target. This information can also be used to inform the copy on your webpage, title and description.
There’s a great technique for optimizing structured data that can be found on Schema.org that gives you a direct line to feed Google more info about your company; who you are, where you are, what you sell, what services you offer, the reviews of customers about your business, and etc.
In laymen’s terms, it helps Google understand the content on your website.
Lastly, the majority of the population now surfs the web via their smartphone. If your website isn’t built to configure itself to be mobile-friendly, that potential customer will bounce right off your site and into someone else’s marketing funnel simply because it wasn’t functional for the device they wanted to view it through.
Making your website mobile friendly isn’t optional, it’s imperative. Additionally, you are going to want to ensure you are using Google’s Page Speed Insight tool to see how quickly your pages are loading. Google’s algorithm gives preference to websites with faster load times.
Ensure Local Listings are Accurate
To get listed on multiple directories or update inaccurate contact information, you can use Yahoo Local and Moz Local.
Just be sure anywhere there is information about your business, it is verbatim to what’s listed on your website. If it isn’t, search engines might mistake it as not being a part of your business, and it can cause confusion with potential customers.
Invest in Local Partnerships
You aren’t the only one in your line of business, and that’s great because you can’t offer everything a customer needs or serve every person in your community. Building a network of strategically selected partners to support one another and set up local campaigns is a great way to find new customers. This can work in a variety of ways.
In terms of posting content, you can link back and forth to each other. Sharing inbound links and content will increase your online presence. Look for local startups you can refer clients to for their other needs.
These relationships could even turn into live events you can do together to create even more buzz.
Invest in Reputation Management to Win Local Search Results
Local reviews are a major way for you to get a leg up on your competition when it comes to appearing in search results. If you want to appear in search results, you need to include reputation management as part of your overall SEO strategy.
When it comes to local reviews, Google’s algorithm is specifically looking for:
- Number of local reviews
- Recency of reviews
- Quality of reviews (star rating)
- Business’ engagement with customers on platforms.
Whether it’s Google, Yelp, Facebook, or anywhere else, being responsive to good and bad reviews alike is important for a few reasons. Taking the time to respond lets customers know that you care, and for potential customers, that’s pretty important.
It will also naturally encourage others to leave reviews, and the more reviews you have the better.
If you get a negative review, don’t panic. Instead, take it as a learning opportunity to improve on what you can do to earn your customer’s trust. The better job you do at meeting consumer expectations, the more likely you are to not only improve customer acquisition through SEO, but also to improve your customer retention.
With reputation management playing such a crucial role in local search, you can’t afford to not invest in quality reputation management software.
Improve your Local SEO Through Reviews
If you want to grow your business, there’s no time like the present to improve the way you optimize your site for local search.
Binary Fountain makes online reputation management easy thanks to our specialized software that puts all of your online reviews in one place, so they are easy for your team to manage. It’s an essential marketing tool for anyone wanting to grow their local business and their local SEO traffic.
About the Author