Why Local SEO is Crucial for Your Small Business
Why Does Local SEO Matter?
Think of a recent time when you wanted pizza. You most likely went to Google and searched for pizza near me or pizza in `your city here`. Either way, over 85% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses. That includes product and service searches. The small businesses that are returned are following Local SEO strategies.
That is why it is extremely important for local service providers to have a solid Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Strategy. Search engines have become extremely intelligent allowing them to optimize search queries based on geographic information. With that said, if your business isn’t listed in the top 3-5 search results when your customers are trying to find you, chances are your competitors will be getting all the business that you could’ve had.
Why You Need a Local SEO Strategy
Whenever a consumer needs a product or service, they more often than not research local providers. 3 out of 4 users will not look past the top 5 search results when searching for a local service provider. A great place to start is by asking yourself honestly, “how many customers has your website produced?” Chances are, without a well managed local SEO strategy, that number is pretty low. But, you can change that.
How To Start Your Local SEO Strategy
There are numerous factors that are considered when increasing your ranking in search engines but here are a five of the most important factors that you should focus on immediately.
1. On-Site SEO
The structure and integrity of your website is how Google reads the content on your websites pages. Search engines are very smart but the truth is, they’re designed to read HTML code. If your website does not have the proper HTML code or is not structured properly, Google and other Search Engines like Bing and Yahoo will misinterpret the content on your website and you’ll miss out on getting your page indexed (ranked).
Schema Markup is a form of HTML that relates to your business specifically such as your products/services, business name, address and phone number, hours of operation, reviews, etc. If your website does not include schema markup, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for search engines like Google to increase your rankings.
Mobile Optimization is within the top 3 most important aspects of SEO include Local SEO. Google will degrade your website if it is not optimized for mobile devices. This is because the majority of searches are conducted via smart phones. If your website does not have a strong mobile user experience, it will definitely damage your rank score.
2. Content Marketing
Content is by far king in every aspect of your businesses digital presence which we could write a book on the topic alone but we will focus on the Local SEO benefits. Search engines are essentially an interface that recommends websites that they think will benefit you the most based on your search query. Websites that have higher domain authority will be ranked higher for relevant search queries.
Here is a real life example – Imagine you’re just starting your service provider company and you’re looking at buying your first tool set. As you’re researching tools, two of your friends recommend a brand for a cordless drill set. How likely are you to purchase that brand? What if 12 of your friends recommended that same brand? You’re definitely going to purchase that tool set. Google works the same way, the more references your website has, the higher your domain authority will be which in turn, will increase your website ranking.
So how does content build those references? When you create high quality content that users want to read, they’re going to stay on your page longer which is something Google tracks to rank your websites relevance. That more engaged your customers are with your content, they more likely they’re going to share it on social media, link to your content via their blog, website, or social accounts, etc.
Content Marketing is a Huge factor for Local SEO and your businesses success. Find out more on Content Marketing by clicking here.
3. Link Building
Once you have great content in place, you can start a link-building campaign. Link building is when another website links back to your website. The more links you have from other website (preferably websites with high domain authority) the higher your website will rank.
Link-building is a very time consuming and difficult task. It takes time to cultivate relationships with other website owners to encourage them to link to your site. However, if you have great content on your website that people find relevant, they’ll be more likely to link to it. Also, with great content on your website, other website owners will gain trust in your writing abilities and allow you to guest blog on their website with the opportunity to build links to your website. You can see how this is a time-consuming process but it is most definitely an extremely important factor to implement in your Local SEO strategy.
4. Business Listings & Citations
Google requires businesses to be verified before they’ll return you in local listings. The first process in doing this is to claim your Google My Business listing. You can start this process at Google My Business.
However, don’t stop there. Get your business listed on every relevant business directory you can find (there are literately hundreds). The most important thing to keep in mind here is that you use the EXACT SAME NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) for every listing. The reason it is extremely important for consistency in your NAP is because when Google references your business info from these directories, they should all point back to your business. However, if they’re not consistent, Google will not be able to relate the inconsistency in your NAP to your business.
Companies like AngiesList and Yelp have become so successful because it remains true, customers will research reviews on products and/or services before making a purchase. With that said, Google considers your reviews as another reference. If you can increase your reviews across all platforms, Google will take note and increase your ranking.
As you can see, there is a significant amount of work that goes into building a solid Local SEO strategy. With that said, it is absolutely crucial for small businesses to have a powerhouse local SEO strategy if they want to increase their sales and grow their business. This provides a strong starting point for you to build a winning Local SEO strategy.
If you need help or would like to leave your Local SEO strategy to the experts, reach out to us for a free consultation at Luckless Digital.
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