When potential customers are searching for businesses near them, they’re likely to use search terms like “dog groomer in Anytown, USA.” As a small business owner, you can take advantage of that using local SEO! Paid ads and a national SEO strategy can work well for some types of businesses. But those who depend on capturing leads from their local area must adopt a local strategy to be successful. The best thing about a local SEO strategy is that it doesn’t have to cost you a dime!
Update Your Site Content, Text, and Headers
If your site content doesn’t contain the name, location, and phone number of your business, customers in your area won’t be able to find you, and neither will local search engine results pages. One of the best ways to improve your local search engine clout is to update all areas of your website content to contain references to your location and surrounding communities. You can put this information in your footer to make sure it sh0ws up on every page.
Then move on to your headers and H1 tags, as this is the first place search engine algorithms look when they’re ranking your site. Add keywords relevant to your customers’ searches. Next, make sure each individual page has unique content that includes keywords and the name of your city and other cities in your service area.
Set Up Google My Business
There’s a tool just for small businesses to leverage local SEO – Google My Business listings. Because Google is the most popular search engine worldwide, it’s crucial that you set up and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Google gives priority to GMB listings, and the My Business widget will generally appear at the top of any given search engine results page. If you haven’t claimed or created your listing, be sure to do so as soon as possible.
Once you have control of your My Business listing, make sure the name, address, and phone number are correct. Add some posts that mention your city. Fill out your listing with high quality pictures and you’ll be in a much better position to capture leads who are searching in your city. Once your listing is optimized, be ready to answer any reviews, positive or negative. Potential customers will appreciate that you’re responsive to their concerns.
Set up Citations
A local citation is any online mention of your business name, address, and phone number. For best results, you want local citations to appear in as many online places as possible. Your website and Google My Business listings are good places to start, but you’ll want to expand your reach as much as possible. Take advantage of other local business directories like Acxiom, Localeze/Neustar, and Infogroup. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are other good options, as are review sites like Yelp.
Once you have a solid foundation, you can dig even deeper by building even more citations. Try local Chamber of Commerce sites, industry blogs, news sites, and more. Be creative; the more local citations you have, the easier it will be for potential customers in your area to find you.
Paid ads can be a big part of your overall digital marketing strategy. But they won’t be effective unless you also build up your local presence and organic search traffic. Local SEO for a small business can drive a surprising amount of traffic. Follow the tips above and you’ll be positioned to stand out in local search results over your competitors.
If your core business is taking up most of your time, it’s helpful to outsource marketing activities like local SEO. At TIC Digital Marketing, we know what search engines want to see, and our services priced for small businesses! Visit our contact page and fill out the online form to get in touch with us about local SEO and other services like digital marketing, website development, and more!