How can you be certain that your business and website are appearing to local potential customers? Perfecting your local SEO with our local SEO checklist will create a greater opportunity for your site to be seen first (or early) on Google when customers are searching for services, products, or items that your business provides.
What is local SEO?
If you own or manage a small business, most of your customers are going to be local. Having a great website and word-of-mouth might bring in some customers, but how can you optimize the number of customers you have coming in? Thats where local SEO comes into play. In a nutshell, local SEO is the process of improving your website and its content in order to target the ideal audience in your specific area — to make sure you are appealing to those who are potential customers.
How can you improve your local SEO?
Implement traditional SEO
SEO is SEO regardless of if you’re targeting your next door neighbor or the entire country. Continue to use your traditional SEO practices when targeting locally. For starters, create a website that will stand out, but is also error-free, fast, factual, informative, keyword rich, and easily accessible.
Some things to keep in mind when creating/reviewing a website to optimize SEO:
This is a short list of easy yet effective methods to improve SEO on your website. Websites are typically the first things customers look at when selecting a business to work with. These tips will give your site the foundation it needs, and improve its rank on Google.
- A ‘Contact Us’ page should feature the name, location(s), phone number, business hours, and email address.
- Create a mobile-friendly website (websites that can be accessed on mobile devices rank higher on Google).
- Link the address(es) of each location to a navigation menu
- Make sure your phone number is easily accessible on your website, and can be clicked on mobile devices.
Appeal to other areas
My second recommendation is to know your surrounding areas. This will help maximize the amount of customers you are reaching. We at Nao Media do this as well, and have had numerous customers from surrounding areas approach us. This is an easy step to take, but it is not going to bring you all of the results you are looking for, so I suggest utilizing some other strategies as well.
The internet isn’t everything
While having a website is definitely a necessity in this day and age in order to run a successful business, it’s not your only marketing tool. If you’re running a local business, word-of-mouth and local newspaper ads/printed ads can be beneficial. This will also help benefit your local SEO, and drive traffic to your website if it is featured in the ads.
If your business social media information is on your printed/offline outlets, this can increase likes/shares on Facebook, and increase interactions/followers on Instagram and Twitter as well.
This all circles back to improving local SEO because essentially, all of these steps will drive traffic back to your site, improving your rank on Google.
Create accurate local content
Content is the most important factor of SEO. Quality content keeps people on your website longer, ranking you higher on Google. How can you be sure you’re producing quality content? Here are a few tips to consider for your website.
- Original content is key- Don’t read competitor sites and lazily regurgitate their ideas and information. Use content relevant to your business that will set you apart from your competitors.
- Citing content- If you choose to incorporate information or quotes from other sites or people, be sure to properly cite and credit them.
- Stick to one website- Maintaining one website can be labor-intensive enough…so to avoid finding time to improve and keep up with content for two websites, invest your time and money into perfecting one flawless site.
Local SEO keywords and why they matter
Local SEO keywords is the next focus for our local SEO checklist. Keywords are super important for excellent SEO, local or not. Keywords are specific words that make it easier to find your site on search engines via search queries.
Local SEO keywords are centered around the same idea. They are just geared to help a searcher discover places, products, or services in a specific area. For example, ‘Best Steakhouse in Atlanta’ would give me a broad search to find some of the top rated steakhouses in the Atlanta area.
Finding the correct keywords to use for your business might sound intimidating, but there are great keyword research tools to use such as Moz or SEMRush to help find the right keywords that will help your stance on Google.
Create and maintain your Google My Business account
Creating a Google My Business account is easy and free. This will ensure all of your business information is displayed in an easy-to-read way when customers search for you.
When inputting information into your account, make sure you’re giving accurate information. To ensure you are optimizing Google My Business, be sure to:
- Include a correct and active business phone number
- Input correct business hours and locations
- Include your business’s logo and information about your services and products
- Incorporate photos of your work/business/products
- Review and respond to customer reviews regularly
- Make special posts about specials and promotions
- Make sure you are keeping all of this information up-to-date
Another great component that Google My Business offers is the option for customers to leave reviews for other potential customers to see. Since they are public reviews, you will be able to see the feedback as well, which will allow you to see how you’re helping others and which areas you can improve. In today’s world, we value raw feedback and reviews from our friends and other people. The times of hearing a business talk about how great they are without any form of validation are over.
Be active on social media
Social media accounts are great outlets to reach local customers, which is why it’s the next item on our local SEO checklist. Google values referral traffic and linking your website on social network accounts can help greatly here.
With over two billion people on Facebook, I recommend starting there. Creating a Facebook account is a free and easy way for your business to be seen.
The same principles of the Google My Business account remain when creating your business’s Facebook page. Add contact information, address(es), and accurate business times.
You can also choose to utilize marketing tactics on your Facebook page, such as offering promotions to those who like or share your posts. This is an awesome way to keep current customers engaged, and attract new customers as well.
Facebook also offers multiple methods to create and share ads directly with your target demographic. We have found this to be very beneficial if you are willing to spend the time and money (it’s very reasonable and won’t break the bank).
To find out if Facebook advertising will be useful for your business, and which route you should take when creating ads, read Facebook Boosted Post vs Ad: A Study on the Best Facebook Strategy.
How will these ideas benefit your business’ local SEO?
The tips I’ve touched on throughout the article are the simplest and most effective methods to improve local SEO. Once you add some of these into your strategy and you feel more confident, you can certainly take routes that are more advanced to improve local SEO.
These tips and ideas will help draw more traffic to your business by utilizing more media outlets and improving your page rank on Google, so your business will be one of the first to show up when searching.
In conclusion: Why is this local SEO checklists necessary?
Improving local SEO is a must so you can attract the most potential customers and grow your business.
This checklist offers the best methods for local SEO improvement and other great marketing tactics you may want to implement.
I hope this article was helpful in understanding how local SEO is important to your business.
If you’re not sure how to get your website started, or need more tips on local SEO or general SEO improvement, contact us and we will be happy to help you.