There are many advantages to starting a local SEO campaign. The internet has changed the way we do business in our world, and now it can be hard to keep up with all of the changes that occur daily. Local SEO is one way you can stay ahead of your competitors by getting your company name out there where people are looking for what you offer.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO refers to the strategy used to get your company name out there online in places where people search for what you offer. This may include listing yourself on directories, blogs, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
How does Local SEO work?
Local SEO includes developing a network of relationships with other companies that will share your website on their site in exchange for you sharing theirs. It also provides quality backlinks from relevant websites with a high domain authority, which will help your business rank higher on various search engines.
Local SEO is an Internet marketing strategy that uses geographic information, such as a business’s physical address or location near landmarks, to rank higher search engine results for searches related to that geographical area.
Create a Google My Business Account & Verify
To get started with Local SEO, you’ll want first to create a Google My Business account. It’s free, and it is what you’ll use for your local optimization efforts.
After creating an account, you’ll be prompted to verify your business address. This is something that Google strongly encourages – they claim it will help “increase trust in your business information.” As such, it’s essential to follow along with the prompts and verify your location.
Note: If you do not manage several locations or domains for your business, then you can complete this section later.
Create a Google+ Local Page to Connect with Customers
Once you’ve verified your address, the next step is to create a Google+ Local page for your business. This is how customers will see information about your business, and you’ll use it to manage various aspects of your location information (hours, contact info, etc.). To get started, go to your Google My Business dashboard and click “Edit.”
Note: If you’re using a brand account for your business (i.e., Google owns the registered trademark), then this step is not necessary – you’ll manage that profile from here.
- After clicking edit, you’ll be prompted to create a page for your business. You have two options – creating a new Google+ page or adding an existing one (which could be another brand account).
- After clicking the appropriate option, you’ll be prompted to fill out some basic information about your business. There will not be any issues with this section for most companies, and you’ll be able to move on, but if you need to change or verify location information (such as the name of your business), there are steps for doing that here.
- Once complete, you’ll have created a Google+ Local page for your business. You can now customize various aspects of this page and add specific details about yourself and your business.
Note: If you don’t have a website for your business, then it is recommended that you create one before creating a Google My Business Page. This will provide customers with additional information about your company – including contact info.
Create Content Based on Local News Stories or Events
One of the easiest ways to create content for your business is to look at relevant local news stories. If you’re a restaurant in Seattle, then there will be plenty of food-related stories – and you can use them to show potential customers that you are an expert on your topic.
If you don’t see any great stories for your business, look at event listings in the area and create content based on them (ex: if there’s an upcoming music festival near you, then talk about it). This will help build trust with potential customers – especially if they live closer to your business than your competitors.
Engage in Social Media
If your business is active on social media, now’s a good time to advertise your Google+ Local page. If you’re someone who loves to spread the love on Twitter and Facebook, then share information that Google will be able to see (ex: “Local clients! Log in at [Business Name] to find out about our newest promotions!”).
Note: If you’re not active on social media, now is an excellent time to start. It’s free, and it helps build trust with potential customers.
Perform Local SEO Audit
Now that you’ve done all this work, it’s time to see how well your business ranks in Google. You can do this by doing a local SEO audit, which will show you what customers see when searching for your company – including any competitors that appear first.
Note: To perform an audit, go to the Google My Business page for your company and search for [Business Name] on Google.
Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly before
It’s essential to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Mobile device searches for websites have been steadily increasing over the past few years, and many mobile devices have a much smaller screen than desktop computers. So a quick and easy way to check if you can view your website in a mobile environment is to visit it from your smartphone. If you have problems viewing even the basic information on your site, people using other mobile devices will likely experience similar issues.
Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
The most effective way to improve your website’s internal linking structure is to add links relevant to your site’s content. There are a few simple methods you can use to organize these internal links. For example, you can create an index page where each critical page on your site has its chapter or categorize them by industry and type.
In addition, you can also organize your links by keywords, creating a list of essential words that relate to each page on your site. For example, if you have a pet store and sell products for cats and dogs, you could create separate sections for the keywords “cat” and “dog.”
Get Relevant and Authority Links
For your links to be relevant, you must link to websites where the content is on the same topic as your website. To increase your chances of getting foot traffic from external sites, you should get links from websites with a high Domain Authority. The higher Domain Authority a site has, the more likely it is that site visitors will stay on it and share it with friends/family members.
Using Appropriate Keywords in Your Site
The keywords you use on your site should be directly related to the content on your site. However, it would be best to get caught up in the constant keyword updates made by Google and other search engines because there is no guarantee of whether those words will stay relevant in the future. Your best bet is usually to focus heavily on long-tail keywords, which are more specific and valuable.
Create an Effective Meta Description for Your Website’s Homepage
The meta description for your website is the blurb of text on search engine results pages (SERP). This brief description appears below your URL and above the list of links when a page shows up in a search. These descriptions are “meta,” meaning the site owner creates them, and search engines use them to interpret your content.
Adding a Memorable Slogan or Tagline on Your Site
A tagline is a remarkable statement that sums up what you do. For example, Nike’s motto is: “Just Do It.” It gets people’s attention and encourages them to make a move and take some action.
Chances are if someone sees your company’s slogan or tagline on something like a coffee cup or at an event, they will remember it when they’re ready to buy your products/services.