Developing your local SEO strategy

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Does your small business have a local SEO strategy?

If you run a small business, local SEO should be an essential tool in your marketing arsenal for success across search engines. Google is placing more emphasis on local searches, so take a moment to analyze your local optimization strategies, are they working? Or non-existent?

Mobile searches are growing rapidly, and a good number of these searches are performed while users are on the move. Location based searches will only continue to rise in popularity, and with local searches quite often leading to in-store visits, the value or ranking locally should be a top priority for your business.

  • Be sure your websites and landing pages are optimized
  • Keep your Google my business page up to date and optimized
  • Keep social media platforms in mind
  • Build authoritative citations
  • Ask for customer reviews
  • Keep building your network of inbound quality links

Website & landing page optimization

Keeping your website and landing pages optimized should already be part of your everyday marketing strategy. To make enhancements for local SEO, consider the following:

  • Optimizing your ALT tag for images – include your service and location
  • Optimize your TITLE tag – use keywords, city and state
  • Optimize your content – be sure that content is unique and includes location specific information
  • Add customer reviews and testimonials
  • Include your location in Schema markup

Google my business listing

Be sure to claim your Google My Business page, if you haven’t already. GMB makes it easier for local businesses to be found by local searchers. Fill out your profile completely, and here are some tips for optimizing your listing:

  • Add your business address consistent with local directories and your website
  • Add your phone number
  • Add your open hours and days
  • Add your unique business description
  • Include links to your social media profiles
  • Choose the right category for your business
  • Use a high quality branded image for your photo and profile image
  • Get real reviews from your real customers

Be mindful of your social media platforms

Social media is not right for all business types, if this is the case, fell free to spend your time and money on other areas of your marketing strategy.

Your social media strategy can boost engagement, generate shares and is a good source for driving traffic to your website. But be smart when developing your social media strategy. Don’t think you need to be active on every social media platform. Take the time to do the research and find out which platforms your customers are on. Once you have selected your platforms, you need to create a schedule, engage with your followers and if budgets allow, take advantage of paid ad options.

Build your citations

Ah, the ever elusive citations. What are citations? Citations are details of your business on other websites. But not just any details, the same details. What am I referring to exactly? It’s called NAP (name, address, phone number). Your business NAP must be the same across every listing online.

These citations help the search engines establish trust that your business is real and is actually doing business in the location you are telling them. More citations, more visibility in the local search results.

There are services available that can help small businesses build and manage their citations from one simple interface. Do your research, not all local SEO listing services are created equal. Check with your marketing professional if you have questions.

Get customer reviews

Even with the recent onslaught of fake reviews in the marketplace, getting real reviews from real customers is still necessary for establishing credibility and trust. Have your list of review websites handy and/or build a page on your site that links to your review websites and let your customers know that you would love getting their feedback.

A network of quality links

Inbound links should be part of any SEO strategy. But where do you find quality links for your local business? Here are a few places to try:

  • Any blogs related to your industry, located anywhere
  • Local bloggers in your town
  • Local news sites
  • Chamber of commerce

Developing your local SEO strategy may seem overwhelming, but it’s not something that should be overlooked if you are a small business owner. Enlist the help of a marketing professional, hire a marketing intern, or look to the local business school in your area.

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