Local SEO: Don’t become a stranger in your own neighborhood
Local Search Engine Optomization (SEO) is an invaluable tool for marketing and promoting your business online. It lets you reach potential customers as they are searching for answers.
Imagine this scenario. You’re at home, baking a batch of your favorite chocolate chip cookies. Most of the ingredients for your recipe are already in the mixer, and then you realize it: you don’t have any sugar. When you’re stuck in this bind, you don’t have time to drive to the supermarket, so you either abandon your cookies or knock on every neighbor’s door, desperately hoping they have sugar in the house. Then you ask yourself: what if there was a way to easily find the closest house with the best possible sugar?
The world became a much smaller space with the advent of the Internet, so it isn’t wrong to refer to the world wide web as a “community” where information is easy to find, word travels fast, and everyone is constantly doing their best to keep up with their neighbors. Since everyone lives online, it takes a proper skillset to navigate this new community.
If your business is equipped with a local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, you can be that neighbor that everyone is looking for:
Give your business a bright spot on the neighborhood map
More and more customers rely on Internet searches to inform their purchasing decisions, and while many may want to support a local business rather than the big box stores, they might not even know that a local alternative exists. Google gets nearly 85% of Internet searches, and nearly 50% of those searches are local. Local SEO enables you to get discovered locally, where you need it most.
What is SEO, exactly, and how does it work? It’s a customized process of improving the amount of website traffic from people who are specifically looking for a particular offering. The search engine’s goal is to connect the right people to the right results, and a local SEO strategy will deliver those people to your website. Because most search engines factor in the geographic location of the searcher (all thanks to their smartphone), that’s all the more reason to equip your website with a local SEO strategy.
“But I already have a website that works,” you might be saying. Even with a functional website, you may be missing out on the key ingredients that will help you get discovered before your prospective customers end up on your competitors’ websites. Here’s the important part: if your competitors have a local SEO strategy, you can’t afford not to be properly listed, because your competitors will constantly appear in Internet searches instead of you.
Become a relevant result in a crowded space
What does a local SEO strategy look like?
- Relevant keywords throughout your site that describe your business and offerings.
- Easy-to-find contact information: address (show where you are), phone number (let them how to reach you for a question), hours of operation (let them plan when to visit).
- Meta tags located in the back end of your website that aren’t visible to the public, but highly relevant for search engines like Google and Bing.
These are just a few of the efforts will help you maximize the impact while staying within a moderate budget.
All of these pieces will work together so that you can reach people who are looking to fulfill a specific need and don’t yet know that you hold the answer to that need. You then get to serve them an online experience that will convince them YOU are the most reliable, valuable, and trustworthy house on the block. If you convince them to become a customer, they’ll spread the word about you to their friends. In the online age, word of mouth spreads faster than ever – for better or worse.
Additional SEO Strategies for your Business
Local SEO services are designed for local small businesses. However, there are many other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services we can offer to help your website rank higher in the search engines. Here are some additional SEO strategies you may want to consider:
- Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business page (GMB)
- Optimizing to include city and target keywords in your URLs, H1-6 tags, Meta Description, text content, etc
- Claiming your online local business listings and building citations with reputable local business directories
- Making phone numbers clickable for Mobile search
- Embedding Google maps on your pages
- Obtaining genuine Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews
- Adding Schema (structured data mark-up) to your pages
- Claiming and enhancing your social profiles
- Link building and link acquisition for your website
- Optimize the load speed of your website for both desktop and mobile
Entrust a reliable team to keep up with the ever evolving digital age
With the advent of technological advancements like social media, smartphones, geo-targeting and artificial intelligence, the toolbox needed to stay relevant continues to evolve as well. If trends continue to evolve and develop, the digital field will look even more complex and layered in the years to come.
Because each industry, business and region has multiple factors that make them unique, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t benefit your business. Without a constantly monitor local SEO strategy, your business will quickly fall off the radar as your competitors stay ahead of the curve – which means they will take your place as the trusted and reliable neighbor. A proper SEO strategy will ensure your website stays in top playing form with the latest standards and trends.
You deserve to be found by those who matter the most – local customers in your target areas!