Local SEO Killer Guide For Your Small Business

Plenty of companies make a pretty penny off of their SEO services, helping businesses get more traffic to their websites and convert those visitors to customers. Local search engine optimization includes all of the same advice you’ll find scattered on the Internet, but requires going a step further to attract customers who aren’t using the Web to find just any business. Those searchers need a business that has a physical presence and real staff members, preferably in the neighborhood. How can you use SEO to show consumers that you are that company?

Claim Your Citations

Citations are listings for businesses on search engines and social media. Popular places include Facebook, Google, Bing, Yelp, CitySearch, FourSquare and SuperPages, but many other websites exist. If you haven’t yet claimed your information, then it’s likely that your business is listed with incomplete information. Remember that Google voice search and Siri are become increasingly popular, and if your information isn’t found online, those technologies will present users with the phone number and address to your competition instead. When someone performs a voice search for a company like yours, and your listing comes up, they can load your address in their GPS app to bring them directly to you.

Once you claim your listing, you can add this information. You have the ability to add photos and videos, which helps consumers find your business. Furthermore, you can add a phone number and hours of operation. You may even be able to respond to reviews from customers. You can help to strengthen consumer relations and turn around a bad experience by paying attention to what people are saying on these citations. You may find some testimonials to use in ad copy, too.

While I was working with one candles ecommerce website, I have had a hard time claiming citations on various social networks, mostly because it was really bad done in previous marketing strategy so I’ve had to start all over again, but it was worth doing. Citations are maybe the strongest signals for your local SEO. Don’t overlook it.

Local Advertising

Aside from claiming your listings, look into local advertising. This is especially true if you have a service, such as plumbing, that is only available to the local population. When people do perform a Google search to for plumbers in Atlanta, your website should pop up in natural results. Taking advantage of PPC ads on Bing and Google can also bring in additional traffic by highlighting your business in one more location.

As social media becomes more important for succeeding online, you should also be engaging with your customers there. However, Facebook offers an additional service with its internal ad program. You can target specific users effectively based on location, age and even interests. Of course, this only makes sense if you want to connect with local consumers, and you don’t have to waste money by advertising to consumers who can’t use your products or services.

Getting Social

While you’re on Facebook, take the time to talk to your fans and followers. Post on a daily basis. Let them know what’s new on your website and with your company. Highlight new products and introduce new staff members. Post thoughtful questions to encourage activity, and encourage those followers by providing giveaways, samples or coupons on your Facebook page, which aren’t available in other locations. Facebook will recommend that users “Like” any pages belonging to locations where they’re previously checked in, which is one more reason why you should claim your citation on the network.

On-Site Optimization

Of course, spreading the good word about your company in other locations is important, but you can’t forget what you can do on your own site. For example, you’ll need to research keywords that apply to your local customers. This might be a city, country or neighborhood name. You should utilize these keywords in your content, anchor text, image names, heading and metadata, allowing local customers to more easily find your company through your website. Doing so allows your website to appear naturally in the SERPs after Google adds your pages to the databases. Even if you don’t pay for advertising on search engines or social networks, tweaks to your site connect you to the right consumers.