Are you tired of relying on expensive outbound ads to gain attention for your small business? If so, it’s time for you to discover the secrets of local SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that’s fairly well-known in digital marketing. What many small businesses don’t realize is that SEO is just as relevant for a small company as a large one.
How so? It’s all due to the magic of local marketing.
Here’s what you need to know to drive traffic to your website and your store with local SEO.
The Power of Local Search
Local search is frequently done on the go, using a mobile device. Capturing the attention of searchers in local queries is very powerful – a local search on a cell phone leads 50% of mobile users to visit the physical store within 24 hours.
How do you get this attention? How do you boost traffic to both your website and your store?
These local SEO strategies will help.
Claim Your Google Page
The first place to start is on your Google My Business Page. This page will allow you to tell Google directly what your business is, what hours you have, and other relevant contact information.
You can also share promotions and coupons through your Google My Business page, share photos, and engage with users through reviews.
To really make your Google page powerful, make sure you use the same name, address, and phone number (NAP) on all business directories and social media sites. This consistency makes a big difference when it comes to Google trusting your website.
Get Great Reviews!
Once you have your page claimed and updated with relevant information, it’s time to build your online reputation. Reviews have a huge impact on how customers and search engines view your business.
Be sure to ask your customers for a review after every completed transaction. Google reviews are a natural place to start, but don’t forget about Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, and any other relevant platforms.
Are you concerned about getting negative reviews? Don’t worry – just treat it as an opportunity. Reply to the concern and show you really care about making the customer happy. People are watching, and it will make your company look even better!
Optimize Your Site for Local Keywords
Many small businesses shy away from SEO because they think it’s too hard to rank for relevant keywords. The truth is that when you use local keywords and long-tail variations, you can do really well even as a small company.
What’s a local keyword? Let’s say you own a dry cleaner in Toronto. Instead of trying to rank for “dry cleaning,” you’d look at “dry cleaning in Toronto.” You could even narrow it down further by using the name of your specific neighbourhood or suburb.
A long-tail keyword allows you to expand on a keyword by getting more specific. For instance, instead of “dry cleaning,” you’d focus on keywords like “dry cleaning for dress shirts,” or “removing a wine stain from clothes.”
If that sounds difficult, don’t worry. You can get help from the top local SEO service in Toronto today.
Gain Great Inbound Links
Another key factor in getting Google to put your company pages higher in search results is to get high-quality inbound links. You want to avoid buying links from spammy sites, as Google will downgrade your site for having these.
Instead, think about how you can get mentioned in local media, magazines, or other publications. You may want to use Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which makes it easy to connect with journalists and other writers who are looking for interviews and quotes.
You can also write authoritative pieces that invite others to reference them. If you create a definitive guide to removing stains from clothing, other home-focused blogs may link to your content.
Finally, you may want to consider guest posting. This strategy allows you to ask blogs if you can share relevant content with their audience in return for a link back to your website. This can build your visibility and help your standing in search results.
Don’t Overlook Mobile
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, an increasing percentage of search traffic is coming from mobile devices. Be sure your website looks good and works well on a mobile device.
Google will penalize your site if you are not mobile optimized. Having the right setup will also encourage users – mobile and desktop – to spend more time on your website. This higher level of engagement will show search engines that your site is relevant, which will boost you in the rankings.
Boosting your traffic in local search with SEO doesn’t have to be hard. With these simple tips you can lay the groundwork for a local SEO strategy that will serve your company for years to come. Get started now!