You have a professional-looking website but it seems you are struggling to attract local customers. Maybe your website is not optimized for your area. This is where local SEO comes in.
Local SEO is important to ensure that your business location is personalized for your target market. Here are three killer secrets that will help you rule SEO for local business:
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Google My Business (GMB) is the biggest thing you can do to fire up your local SEO efforts. It’s essential to claim your Google My Business page since it is free and will give you amazing exposure if your website is highly-optimized to show up in Google’s local three-pack, which targets mobile users.
What to do
To claim your Google My Business page, go to google.com/business and follow the verification process. Fill out as much detail as possible, including description, category associations, images, and videos. Include your business name and location on your H1 or H2 tag, which could be on your contact page or homepage. Don’t forget to include your full business name, address and phone number somewhere on your site. You can also do the same for Bing called Bing Places for Business. The process is similar to GMB, and it is also important to create your presence in Bing’s local directory.
Online reviews are crucial to a company’s online branding and reputation.
According to a recent survey, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Having more reviews increases your overall CTR. Higher CTR translates to enhanced brand awareness and potential increases in sales and revenues. Google also rewards businesses with positive, high-quality reviews by increasing their SERP rankings.
What to do:
Add links to your Google My Business page on your website, email signatures and marketing collateral to prompt clients to give you a review.
End the transaction or sale by inviting customers to leave a review.
You can send a follow-up email to increase your Google My Business reviews. Send emails to customers who have Gmail accounts. Include the Google review link generator which creates an exact URL that opens the review box for the person if they are logged into their Gmail account.
Many people have also checked social media for recommendations by family and friends. As such, it is powerful to have good reviews on Facebook. Create a post on Facebook encouraging customers to give you a review. Use social media management tools to monitor and receive alerts anytime your brand is mentioned online. Responding to reviews, especially negative ones, gives the impression that you care about your customers and you are there to help fix their issues.
ONLINE DIRECTORIES AND CITATIONS
An online citation is another way to improve your SEO for local business. It is a local SEO link and occurs every time your name, address, phone number (NAP) are mentioned online. Just like reviews, the more citations you have, the more likely your website will rank high on Google. Take note to prioritize quality over quantity. High-authority citations help to ensure increased web visits and quality customers.
What to do
Registering on online business directories is the easiest way to build citations. Check out legitimate local directories to get your business listed. You can also consider registering with local newspapers’ websites and your Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a local business directory you can get listed on. To find other local sites and directories, search for keywords to include “[your city] directory” on Google.
You may also attempt to win awards in your industry to get an authoritative citation and link to your website. Consider reaching out to influential local bloggers and thought leaders in your niche and request to be featured in their blogs and online articles.
Last but not the least, verify that your company’s NAP is consistent on as many directories and citation sites as possible. Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, and wrong phone number or address can hurt your business when Google can’t detect which information is correct, resulting in either inaccurately displaying your information or not even showing your details in search results.