Why should you care about local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? It’s not news to know that most people are searching for products and services on the Internet these days, and many of them are looking for places nearby that can meet their current need.
Why is Local SEO the Way to Go?
- Better than traditional Yellow Pages
- Localizes (geographically targets) online search for your company
- Increases visibility on your company and services in the right regions
Here are three simple places you can amp up your SEO to show up higher and more often in search results.
1. Your Website – The Basics
Your website is one of the first points of contact with potential buyers. While most businesses have a website, they may not be sure if their website is hitting search engines with a local focus … OR hitting search engines at all. Here is a quick checklist you can jot off that will help the SEO properties of your website:
- Use a local phone number on your site rather than using a call center number.
- Include name, address and phone number in either the header or footer of every single page. NOTE: If you don’t want your phone number public, use a company email address.
- Ensure your site is optimized for mobile. Use Google’s Tool. (There are severe penalties to your ranking if your site is not mobile friendly!)
- Make sure website links are simplified. They should be human-readable & include a keyword.
EXAMPLE: http://mywebsite.com/adfoiw123e.html vs http://mywebsite.com/services
2. Online Business Listings
Remember flipping through the massive Yellow Pages looking for a local business? The digital world has made this a lot easier for the “searcher.” As a local business in today’s world, you need to make sure searchers can find you! Being listed on relevant directories create citations for your business, which is a mention of your business name with another piece of business information like your phone number, address, website, or a combination. Your business is more likely to rank when you have a nice amount of citations from quality sources. Submitting your site to these directories will improve your SEO scores, so hop to it!
Here’s a basic list of online business listings you should register your company to get this started:
Obtain business listings on at least the below directories:
- Google My Business (Google Maps)
- Bing Places for Business
- Angie’s List
- Super Pages
- Yahoo Local
- Yellow Pages
- City Search
Don’t forget about your industry or niche-specific directory listings. Check out Moz’s excellent list of local citations by industry.
3. Your Social Media Sites
Marketing is not what it used to be. An estimated $15 billion in sales was generated from social media commerce, leaving social media one of the best places to have your presence known. Follow this checklist to assess your social media SEO properties:
- Optimize your Google Business profile with accurate information and add media like photos, work videos, etc.
- Encourage customer reviews with in-person comment cards or via social media. Try this example: “We appreciate your feedback! Please consider leaving us a review on X to let us know how we’re doing or how we can improve to better serve you!”
- Before uploading photos on any photo sharing sites, make sure you geotag the photos.
- Include Name, Address, Phone or email into the description of all your social media sites.
This is just the beginning!
Google has always been secretive about the exact ranking factors for their algorithms, but there are a few basic tips digital strategists know return results. We didn’t discuss the ever-important backlinks or personal search history here since they are more involved and I wanted to share some quick and easy steps you can take right away. Use these three pointers as a baseline to get started and try to dedicate at least a few hours per month to improve your site. If you need some help, feel free to send me a message and we can talk more about your pain points. Remember that I do offer a free, no pressure initial consultation so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help.