As a new small business owner, it can be difficult stepping into a new business world full of competitors offering the same services and products as yours. Setting yourself apart can be a difficult task to take on. However, you should know that there are tools out there to help promote and expand your business presence online. One of those tools is local SEO.
Local SEO is foundational to your business’ online marketing strategy. Local SEO relates to organic SEO. However, it optimizes for a specific location rather than a service, product or idea. Although it seems complex to take on and learn, it’s easier than you might think. SEO has multiple layers, but the layer your business should focus on is local search engine optimization.
Why is local SEO Important?
Customers search for your business online whether you know it or not. Maybe not for your business specifically, but for the products and services you offer. That’s why it’s so important to show up in the local search results. One of the common reasons customers search for your business is to learn more information about you. If they search for you using a common term that describes your industry, if you aren’t ranked in the top results, your customers are more likely to choose your competitors over your business. Even if your customers had a positive experience with your business, they might be interested in learning about other options. Customers come back to places such as your website to gain information about your business for them to use in the future.
Besides the regular local customers that know you, there could also be visitors or tourists who may be interested in searching for your services and products. Using the ‘Near Me’ search on Google helps people find businesses around them that they wouldn’t know otherwise. Using local SEO, especially during the pandemic, helps promote your business to new and existing customers in your local area.
Local SEO Processes
Local search optimization takes on different processes based on technical SEO, on-site and off-site SEO, and content strategy. Each process is vital in helping your business grow in local SEO searches.
Technical SEO gives your business’ website a better foundation to start on. This foundation helps your website’s keywords and content have better chances at ranking. Maintaining features such as speed, accessibility and organization on your website go into this aspect of SEO. More features that technical SEO focuses on improving are:
- Internal linking
- Website Speed
- Internal Linking
- User and Mobile Friendly
- URL Structure
Having these features optimized helps search engines better process and understand your website. Having this understanding gives search engines the ability to share your website’s credibility to your customers. When your website doesn’t include these important factors, it’s likely your website’s rankings will decrease.
On-site SEO optimizes your website’s pages, structure, and content for your distinct keywords. This also focuses on optimizing elements on a website in order to rank higher and earn more up to date traffic from search engines. This on-site SEO process involves:
- Meta descriptions
- Content Strategy
- Image Optimization/Alt tags
- Title and Head Tags
Off-site SEO, also known as off-page SEO, attributes to actions taken outside of your website to impact your rankings within search engines’ result pages. They optimize all items off of your website in order to rank for particular keywords. Examples of when off-site SEO are:
- Business Directory Management
- Google My Business and Social Media accounts
- Public Relations
- Online Customer Reviews
Improving search engines and customer’s awareness of your site’s popularity, relevance, trust, and credibility all go into optimizing your off-site SEO. Linking or promoting your website through other locations on the internet helps affirm your website.
Content Strategy involves writing content that’s beneficial for your business and other website’s on the internet. This aligns with your business’ goals and objectives that you would like to achieve. Increasing your business content strategy improves your website’s quality. This also helps search engines improve users’ search queries to better understand and find what they’re searching for. Examples of different types of content you can include in your strategy are:
- Blog posts
- Marketing Campaigns
- Landing Pages
Implementing content strategy into your website will give your website an advantage over your competitors. Local SEO helps promote content strategy on a digital platform. Millions of users search for a variety of businesses around them. Having content to help narrow their search results helps improve their user experience and gives your website more credibility.
How Can Local SEO Help my Business?
Local SEO gives an importance to any business aspect. Most businesses forget or lack important resources that local SEO can give them. Here is a checklist to help recognize how local SEO can help your business grow:
- Local SEO is highly utilized. Individuals search to find businesses in their local area or when they’re on the go. Your business should be visible for them to find you and learn more about your business.
- Local SEO provides users with basic information that is important to the user. Compared to traditional advertising, it gives your customer the basic information they need to know. Rather than overloading them with trivial information.
- Keyword research can be critical to enhancing your local SEO. If you have multiple competitors in your area, it’s important to implement keywords that will raise your rankings to the top for customers to choose from.
- Local SEO is very cost effective for your business. The timeline of SEO can sometimes seem like a never ending maze, but with the right tools and patience it can be the best investment your business ever made. Great exposure and results can be attained through as little as $500 a month.
- Mobile search continues to grow. As the world moves through this pandemic, individuals want to find more opportunities that they didn’t know of before. This helps create new avenues and customers for your business.
- Showcase your local and online reviews for your customers. Having positive reviews gives your business the extra credibility to help sell to your next customer. Even negative reviews can be beneficial. As long as you respond quickly and appropriately, customers will appreciate the care and conduct your business presents itself to resolve issues.
- Give your customer the opportunity to learn about you. Give your customers your business’ name, address, phone number, website address. You could also include directions or customer reviews as well. If they don’t learn or have this information, gaining new customers or holding on to previous customers may be difficult.
- Always update any and all of your business’ information. If a new customer has previous false information this could result in a negative experience. Having a negative experience like this can also affect your local SEO for “web crawlers”. It’s important to constantly check and update any information that is vital to your business and customers.
When you focus on the areas that matter in your business’ local SEO you’ll start to generate more leads, traffic, and create valuable conversations with customers. More importantly, your business will be established as a business your local community can rely on.
Need help improving your businesses local SEO? Learn more about Boostability’s SEO services and how we can help you appear in your local community.