Doing local SEO for small business right will help you rank locally. I’m sharing advanced strategies for marketing managers so that you get more website traffic from Google and get that pat on your back you deserve!
Are You Doing These 7 Things For Your Local SEO For Small Business?
- To Rank In Google Maps, You Need Local SEO
- How To Do Local SEO For Businesses Without Physical Locations
- Keep Your Listings Up To Date
- The Three Pillars Of Local SEO
- Local SEO Plugins
- Ask For Reviews Wherever You Can
- Get A Good Website
First of all, I’m sure by now, especially if you’re googling this topic, you’re already aware that SEO stands for search engine optimization. But what about Local SEO? When I started blogging for business, I had the same question.
Here’s the quick answer. While your website gives you the ability to target the whole world, Local SEO will focus on getting you to rank higher for your specific geographical area. It will create a kind of target radius that will help those in your community find you.
Here are some stats surrounding Local SEO for small business to start thinking about. The following numbers listed by Hubspot are from several different sources.
88% of searchers for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.
By 2021, mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales. That’s LOCAL SALES!
78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.
“Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years.
What does this all mean? In short, it means that your potential customers (the ones that you have an opportunity to turn into loyal and regular customers), are out there, right now, searching for ways to make their lives easier while staying close to their home base.
So, if you have a business that is within close proximity to them, a movie-friendly site that promises to meet their current (and hopefully regularly scheduled), needs, you have the opportunity to turn that into regular sales.
Are you ready to get to the meaty stuff? Me too!
As we recorded the monthly Loom video for every client going over the previous results, these are the 7 things we noticed were really working. If you understand basic SEO, you can apply them too.
To Rank In Google Maps, You Need Local SEO
Research done by the manifest shows that Google Maps is the preferred navigation app for 67% of consumers. Now, is it preferred because it’s the best or is it that Google makes it so easy that we are now mostly just conditioned to use it? I don’t know. But, I think we all know that we’re not generally inclined to scroll past the first couple or few options.
So this means that for the good of your business and bottom line, you’re going to want to optimize your business in google maps as well as you possibly can.
Here are the steps to take:
- Add your business to Google Maps (you may have already done this). Check to see if your business name appears in the drop-down menu with a location next to it. If it’s not, then add it.
- Claim your business. This is important to do because you won’t be able to complete any of the other necessary steps until this is done.
- Add information to your Google Maps business listing. In order to rank as highly as possible it’s important to add as much information as you can about your business.
- Add photos. Google responds well to photos because that’s what people like to see. I personally always prefer nicely shot photos as opposed to a plain generic web-generated map image.
- Get some quality Google reviews. Having a Google Maps business listing will automatically open you up to getting them.
- Consolidate your Google Maps listings. If it’s one business, be sure to have one address, one phone number, etc. Google does not like to be confused.
- Post regularly. Hello algorithms! This is the new way. It’s basically like Google is saying, “unless I see you posting, you’re dead to me.” Not to be dramatic.
- Be sure your website is responsive and functions quickly regardless of the screen size or device. I know I don’t like waiting for anything to load these days. One tip for this is to be careful of the photo and image sizes you’re using.
- Add local keywords to your website. You should be using local keywords on every page of your site in addition to image tags and URLs.
- Embed a Google Map on your website. The best place to do this is on the ‘contact us’ page. For consistency, be sure to have the same address listed there as everywhere else. It only takes one typo to confuse Google.
How To Do Local SEO For Businesses Without Physical Locations
Hey blogger, you say. That’s all well and good but my business doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar. What about me? Breath, I’ve got you!
Identify your business model
The following is from: moz.com
If you’re asking the above question , your business likely falls into one of the four categories below:
Service Area Business (SAB)
Most home services (plumbing, landscaping, housekeeping, etc.) fall into this category. You may or may not have physical street addresses that serve as your business mailing address, but you serve nearby customers at their homes and business locations, not yours.
Your home address is your physical location, and your customers come to your house (personal trainer, musical instrument teacher, massage therapist), or go to nearby customers to serve them. Maybe you do both. Either way, you run your business out of your home and you see your clients face-to-face.
*If you work from home but never see your clients or customers in-person, then you fall under the next category.
All your business is done virtually, via phone, computer, shipping, or remotely in another way. Your business is likely e-commerce (selling t-shirts), or offer digital services. You may be operating out of one or more physical addresses and want customers in many regions or cities to come to your site, but not to your physical address. In any event, you never see your customers face-to-face.
This type of business is more of a hodgepodge of several categories. These businesses became more common in the last year because of the global pandemic.
They mostly come in the form of service type business. Whether you’re a physical location offering food and allow people to come to you while you also deliver to them (or use a third party delivery service), or you offer a specialized service for which you do interact personally with your clients at their home or your location, the way you run your business does not fit neatly into any of the first three categories. You rebel!
An article from moz.com offers some great insight for this type of business:
In most cases, if the business you’re marketing is a hybrid, then your best bet will be to find the relevant opportunities in models 1-3, pair them with any applicable brick-and-mortar opportunities if those also match your model, and move forward with a very broad, hybrid strategy that seeks geographic visibility by every means possible.
Keep Your Listings Up To Date
Organization doesn’t come naturally to everybody, but it can be developed and I’d say it’s among the most important skills. A great way to keep your listings up to date is to keep a spreadsheet of your listings and where to find them with all the necessary information.
Whenever there is a change, you first change the spreadsheet information and then copy and paste right to the listing on the web.
Mark your virtual calendar and set reminders to check and update each quarter. Easy peasy!
The Three Pillars Of Local SEO
This will include mobile friendliness, website speed, having readable URLs, Robots.txt Files, optimizing your sites images, leverage schema (will help search engines to classify the most relevant parts of your particular content).
You need to know who you are trying to reach. Do your market research and plan your content accordingly. Your content strategy will also incorporate your understanding of ‘search intent’, which is the specific keywords and the way in which your audience is asking their questions when they search. Be sure you’re creating content that people actually like.
Content presentation is important too. Use headers and internal links for better aesthetic quality and SEO. Use different kinds of media to create a site that is more pleasing to the eye. Incorporate videos, images and infographics. We like to break up content with these things in order to not overwhelm. Also, be sure to use external links. These will connect your customers with additional information that is valuable to their particular search query. Don’t be stingy. There’s plenty to go around.
This will include backlinks, which link from outside sites to your website. In a nutshell, they serve as a witness of sorts that say that your content is relevant and valuable. Off-page elements will also include local SEO and varied distribution. Find out which platforms you will best be able to use to communicate and engage with your customers and use those.
Local SEO Plugins
Plugins are your friends! They make things more fun and enjoyable and it’s like making friends with the cool kid that can raise your popularity – you know, people will notice you. Here are a few to consider.
Structured Data Schema
I’m sure by now you know that Google is both very smart and just a little high maintenance. Wink wink. Google likes it the way google likes it, end of story. Structured schema data helps organize the content you have on your website in a way that helps Google to understand the specifics of your business.
For local SEO, you can use it on anything on the web that is related to your business; articles, blogs and web pages with Organizations and Local Business schemas. Once you classify each of them for searches, your pages are more likely to show up and rank higher for those specific keywords.
Adding the WP SEO Structured Data Schema plugin will help streamline the process for your web pages. For Local SEO, you’ll want to classify for your specific geographical area and add it to your landing pages.
The WPSSO PLM plugin will help to synchronize your geographical data between Google, Facebook, and Pinterest. Again, Google loves consistency and I can’t blame anyone or anything for that.
Local SEO and Business Listings
What does it mean to clean up your citations? It’s one of the first and most rudimentary parts of any SEO or local SEO strategy. Advicelocal explains it this way.
When a business’ data is accurate, citations are a great way of reaching even more potential customers in the business’ area. But when citations present inaccurate or old information, the business risks losing consumer trust. Did you know that 80 percent of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect contact details or business names online?
Local SEO and Business Listings plugin is a helpful plugin to have in order to make cleanup a breeze.
It has the ability to create and update your business listings across several of the top business listing sources, including Yelp, Yellowpages, Bing Places, and more. So, what I’m saying is that there is a tool that scans those sources to see what needs to be corrected, updated and cleaned up.
Ask For Reviews Wherever You Can
Google Places Review
Online reviews make or break your business which is what makes them another basic and important tool for SEO. Research by the Spiegel Research Center shows you can get a 270% increase in website conversions just by displaying reviews. Say what? That sounds like a good business move to me.
For a WordPress website Google Places Reviews is one of the best plugins for you to have.
For businesses with multiple locations it is possible to show the reviews for each particular location.
Get A Good Website
It’s always nice to run across a website that is aesthetically pleasing, and although that is important, it’s also necessary to focus on the more technical aspects. Here are some areas for you to address in order to have the best website possible:
- Organization of content – a good website will be structured and thereby offer one of the next key factors…
- Easy to navigate – nobody wants to spend a ton of time trying to find what they need. Ever been on a government website? Enough said.
- Content – your content should be clear and original.
- Speed – I lose my patience pretty quickly these days and you can bet I’m not sticking around for something to load. I move on quickly. One tip here. Size your photos properly so they load quickly and easily regardless of the device a person is using.
- SEO – there are so many rules for SEO and things change rapidly these days so you need to stay ahead of the game. If you’re going it alone, find a reputable course for SEO, or click on our link RebelFish Local SEO, we’re happy to help!
I know all this can seem insurmountable and overwhelming. It can feel like that mountain of ever-growing paperwork on my floor directly behind me that I’m forever ignoring (even as I type). But, as soon as I remember that all I need to do is to break it down into manageable bits, it suddenly feels possible.
Still feeling stuck and like you may need further guidance? Here’s some more information that may help.
Do Local SEO Companies Only Work With Businesses In Their City?
No, we have clients across the US. We’ve also worked with clients in English-speaking countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
There are local SEO companies that ONLY work with IT companies or plumbers but we believe those companies provide a disservice. I know that’s harsh.
They only know what works for one industry or niche. At any given time we are working with at least 25 different types of local businesses. We take what’s working in one industry and try it for another. This gives you a competitive advantage.
We’ve had people say, “you are in San Diego, how would you get me to rank in my city of Orlando”? Even though we told them the strategy and the marketing manager tried their best to get them to hire us but the owner only wanted to work with someone locally.
Yes, it’s frustrating.
But most local business owners didn’t go to school for marketing. You did. Local SEO is easy to outsource to a marketing agency. So add some teamwork and start to see your website show up on more local searches. We at RebelFishLocal would love to help you.
Schedule a call with us today!