5 Local SEO Strategies That Can Be Effective For Small Businesses
The biggest challenge that owners of small businesses face is making the customers aware of their locations and the products and services they offer. Not only does your business need to show up high on the search engine results page but also be seen by an audience that is relevant. Unfortunately, local SEO is a little difficult to understand and somewhat confusing too, hence as a small business owner you need to have a few tried and tested local SEO strategies that you can implement. Some practical tips:
Create Local Business Pages
The first step toward creating a local online presence is to create a local business page for all the major search engines; Google, Yahoo and Bing. This effectively means that you will have three separate listings as well as online dashboards to supervise. The process of creating the local business page is quite simple; all you need to do is to provide relevant information about your business such as the name, address, hours of operation, phone numbers, etc.
Optimize Your Local Page
One of the best ways of optimizing your local page is by uploading a number of high-quality images of your business, listing the products and services on offer, and adding details of business operational hours. You should also correctly categorize your business as this can be one of the most crucial elements that assist search engines to locate your business. Typically, all search engines categorize all business into a number of categories that may range from two to five in an attempt to understand better what your business is all about. According to expert SEO course instructors, search engines will not include local businesses that are not categorized or incorrectly categorized for a particular keyword set.
Correct Business Citations
You need to ensure that all the required information fields for creating the local business page are correctly filled up and that all the information being provided across different search engines is consistent. It may happen that you will discover that your business had already been listed by someone else but this is no reason for you to panic or get flustered because all that needs to be done by you is to claim the listing, or citation, as it is also known as.
You should take care to first investigate to find out if there’s indeed another business by the same name at the same location. There are a number of tools like Localeze and Yext that you can use to find out where your business’s local listings are discovered online. You can also search for your business using Google MapMaker to find out if there are indeed any duplicate listings. Another thing you can do is to search the web using variations of your business name, which will help you to find out cases of incorrect information floating around. To claim a business you will have to prove that you are the actual owner of the business – this is done over the phone, email or even traditional mail. You can also take the help of Yext and Localeze to create the citations and make all your business information on the web accurate and uniform.
According to SEO experts, Google uses reviews of businesses as an input for its local search engine algorithms. Reviews are also extremely important for users of search engines to help them decide whether they should go ahead and click on a listing on the SERPs. Improving the number of your business reviews is not too difficult. You do not have to reward users and neither do you need to fake them; all you need to do is to incorporate a review button on your local page so that it is convenient for visitors to review your business after they carry out a transaction.
Optimize Your Site
Local search is not only about local business pages but involves your main site too as well as comments and reviews about your website elsewhere on the web. You should ensure that all the local contacts are also included in some part of your website with appropriate local or regional keywords as far as possible. Specific local content should also be considered for inclusion. You are bound to get more visitors if you can reach out to local organizations to establish connections or get your local presence included so that their members can discover your presence far more conveniently. Make it a point to get your business included in online directories as well as sites like Yelp.