Most Important Local SEO Ranking Factors for Small Biz
If you are looking to attract locals, SEO can provide an opportunity to find a niche in your own community.
It doesn’t matter what services or products you sell, you don’t have to be the biggest provider or offer something others don’t. (Although that can, of course, be helpful.) You can use your location as a niche. Being proud of where you’re located and making it a part of your marketing can draw in customers.
Why? Because most people make their purchasing decisions, local or otherwise, based on Google. You need to be there so people can find you and discover what you have to offer.
There are a few different actions you can take to ensure your SEO is doing what it needs to be doing. We’ll go over the most useful of them and how to implement them to get what you want – traffic and customers.
Add Visual Content to Listings
Visual content is important for any business. It provides an improved experience for your users and draws people in. Videos and images both result in people spending longer on a site, and the longer they hit up your site or listing, the more they learn about you.
So, fill up your site with relevant images, audio clips, and videos that paint your business in a good light. It will have a great impact on how long someone stays on your site and may bring in new customers.
Use the Right Social Media
Social media is great for a business, it allows you to build a community for free. However, you need to know what social media sites your local community is drawn to. If your customers and other locals love to tweet but don’t touch Pinterest, put your time and energy into Twitter.
Once you decide where to focus, be sure to optimize your page so potential customers check it out and stick around. Fill out your profile, be active, and offer an entertaining experience for the best results.
Using a keyword planner can help you determine what are the best keywords to use on your website. Typically, people searching for local businesses will search for the city first, following it up with keywords about the business. For instance, you may want to use the keyword ‘Chicago pizza delivery’ instead of ‘pizza delivery Chicago IL.’
Another good trick is to hit up Google and type in your keyword ideas. You can then scroll down to the bottom and find related searches. Some of those might be great keywords too, or at least push you in the right direction.
Local listing pages are a wonderful way to create an identity and improve your ranking on search engines. Often, all it takes is claiming a page and then putting in a few pieces of information about your business. You can also search for directories in your industry for more ideas.
Some of the most popular directories include: Google My Business, Yelp, YP.com, Bing Places, Foursquare for Business, and Funnls Local.
Start a Community Blog
Another excellent way to capitalize on your location is with a community blog. This isn’t the sort of blog that revolves around your business. Instead, this type of blog is used to talk about events and happenings in your location. Of course, you can choose to post about things in your industry, but simply posting about things close to home gives you another tie to your community.
Best of all, some of these articles can become massive on social media, which leads to more people visiting your website. It’s a situation that is a win for everyone involved.
Test Your Website for Various Devices
You want to be sure that your website works well on all sorts of devices and at various resolutions. Someone who visits your site and finds that it doesn’t work correctly will likely get frustrated and leave, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
There are various websites out there that allow you to see how your website will look on specific devices. You should also run tests of the website on various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera.
Positive ratings and reviews actually have an impact on where your website ranks on search engines. This is especially true for sites that allow users the ability to sort various businesses by their ratings. However, only legitimate reviews will help your case. Posting fake reviews is bad form, and when you get caught, can seriously plummet the reputation of your brand.
Because of the way ranking works, make sure that all your contact information on pages with reviews is the same. It should have the name spelled and formatted the same, as well as the phone number and address. That means that if you abbreviate ‘Avenue’ on one site but not another, it can actually hurt your SEO.
Keywords in Moderation
While keywords are great in small doses, they can actually be annoying if they are in every line of copy on your site. So be careful, use the best keywords that you can but use them sparingly. You do not want to stuff keywords into everything as it can actually hurt you in the long run. There is a lot of conflict about the right density of keywords to use, but anything more than 3% or so is probably going to be lost.
Every location has publications and every local publication is looking for stories that resonate with those in the area. Speaking to people employed at these publications could lead to a story, which means more people gaining knowledge of your brand. If you’re holding an event or releasing something new, consider hitting up a magazine or newspaper and having a story run about it.
Be aware that doing search and social media optimization does work, but it can take time to see the results of it. However, if you stick with it and try some of these suggestions, you’ll find it helps in the long run.