Optimizing your website should be an ongoing piece of your business marketing strategy. If you want your business to be easy to find online, then having a strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is vital.
For location-based businesses such as single brick-and-mortar stores and all types of small businesses, SEO that is focused on local keywords will really help to drive your search rankings up, leading to increase sales and more customers for your business.
When it comes to outranking your local competitors, the following strategies will help your business get the exposure it needs.
Local SEO Explained
No matter what industry your business is in, whether it be a restaurant, dentist, or even a gym, a local SEO strategy is a vital part of gaining more customers, and ultimately, increasing sales and word-of-mouth referrals.
Your website needs to have unique location factors to drive search engines and website visitors to your business location. Optimize your site like you would your national SEO strategy but place a stronger emphasis on your business’s contact information, business hours, city, and state.
Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is an essential marketing tool for any local business. It can give you huge visibility, especially locally. A recent study showed that customers were 70% more likely to visit a business with a Google My Business listing.
There is a process you must go through in order to get your listing and verify it. Once you have your GMB listing verified, you should fill it out and add any useful information. Some examples of items you can add are photos, videos, store hours, and more.
Once you’re happy with your listing, Google My Business is ready to work for you. Create posts of news, events, and offers and share them.
Some other directories you should consider listing your business on are:
- Yellow Pages
- Yahoo Small Business
We all know that reviews play a crucial role in swaying purchasing decisions across the internet from Amazon to an online clothing store.
Reviews are highly crucial when it comes to local and small businesses since it can be the source of their success or could make or break their business’s reputation.
72% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust businesses more, while 70% of consumers say that four or more negative reviews will prevent them from visiting a local business.
It is important to continuously generate as many reviews as possible, especially on your Google My Business Page and local directories.
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In order to gain ranking on your website, you must incorporate them tastefully. In addition to keywords that are relevant to your business, you also need location-based keywords which promote Google’s ability to index your site locally.
Local keywords will help you get found, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice the quality of the content you are producing. Google likes high-quality, valuable content on websites. Sites with this type of content get ranked higher than sites that don’t.
To start incorporating keywords, start by adding 10-15 keywords in your blogs and on web pages that people will use to look for your business, and add location keywords to them.
The Big Three
The three big powerhouses right now for reviews are Google, Facebook, and Yelp. You should be actively seeking reviews on those 3 main platforms and if you can, focus on other platforms that are popular in your area.
Researchers have found that 91% of web users read online reviews either occasionally or regularly. Even more important, 84% say that they trust the reviews they read online as much as they do recommendations from friends or family members.
Create Unique Content
Create content that’s specific to your location and your niche to attract customers with quality information by adding a blog.
Use your keywords within your content to further boost your local ranking with valuable indexable content.
Not only will you attract new customers and maintain existing ones, but each post you publish with local keywords will give your site another local page for Google to index.
However, remember to create content that brings value to your users first and make use of keywords second.
A Few Important Tips for Improving SEO Strategy
- Include a local optimized image to show your readers where your store is and to appear in Google Image search.
- Incorporate 10-15 keywords with your city and state in relevant blog posts and web copy.
- Make sure your readers know exactly where to find your business by referencing local landmarks and intersections.
Local SEO is huge for any brick-and-mortar location, or local small business—and so much of your success depends on leveraging your Google My Business profile and optimizing for mobile search.