Are you ready for this to be the year you finally nail local SEO and get the traffic your business deserves? It’s time to stop being intimidated by larger companies in your industry. Local SEO can level the playing field and allow you to be just as competitive as they are.
With local SEO you focus on keywords that are unique to your industry and location. You can also focus on long-tail keywords that allow you to solve problems people are searching about right away.
Here’s the five-point checklist to get you there!
Google My Business allows all small businesses to lay a foundation for their SEO efforts. On your Google page, you want to enter your name, address, business hours, phone number, and other contact information. You should also share photos of your business and help encourage those who find your listing to come visit.
Once you’ve filled in your information, be sure your business name, address, and phone (NAP) matches on all other platforms as well. From business directories to social media, you need to be consistent with your information.
If you aren’t consistent, search engines won’t know what information is accurate to display. It also tells customers that you aren’t truly professional in your digital presence.
As we mentioned, long-tail keywords and local keywords are the cornerstone of a local SEO strategy. What does this mean, exactly?
Let’s say you own a dog grooming company in Toronto. Instead of trying to rank for “dog grooming,” you would focus on keywords like “dog grooming in Toronto,” or you could get even more specific by mentioning your neighborhood.
A long-tail keyword might be, “get gum out of dog hair,” or “clean marker off my dog.” As you can see, those address specific problems someone is having at that moment. You can provide relevant information and then invite them to visit you for a more thorough grooming.
If that sounds a little overwhelming, consider getting help from the best local SEO services in Canada.
A local mobile search is a huge indicator that someone is ready to buy. In fact, a local search on a mobile device leads 50% of mobile users to visit the store within 24 hours.
You can’t afford to miss out on that! Be sure your website is just as beautiful and functional on a small screen as it is on a desktop. The first step is to use a mobile-responsive theme, which automatically resizes for small screens.
However, that’s not the only thing to do. You’ll want to test your site to make sure the text is big enough and navigation is easy on a cell phone. Elements should not overlap each other or protrude over the text of the website.
Finally, ensure that your website loads quickly on mobile devices – don’t use images that are too large or multimedia elements that delay load time.
If you have a fast, mobile-optimized site, you can be sure that Google will reward you with a higher standing in search results.
What’s the first thing customers look at when they are deciding whether or not to buy a product or service?
Reviews! And if those reviews are mostly excellent, or have enough detail to help convince a customer they are making the right decision, they are much more likely to buy.
Google is also impressed by reviews. You want to invite your customers to leave reviews after every purchase. Google reviews are a great choice, but so are other platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and other industry-relevant rating sites.
Negative reviews aren’t necessarily bad, believe it or not. Sometimes handling a negative review professionally can be just as impressive as a five-star review. Also, people trust reviews more when they aren’t all four- or five-star.
Incoming links are an important part of building your credibility in the eyes of a search engine. You can work with local media to provide interviews and get links back to your website. You might also find putting out press releases to be helpful.
Another way to get mentions are to write guest blog posts. If you know blogs that serve the same audience that you do, you can ask if you can write about a common question that interests the readers. In return, you get a link back to your site. For instance, you might write that blog post about getting gum out of dog fur for a parenting blog!
There you have it! With this five-point checklist, you can make this the year you really nail local SEO and get the traffic you need for your business. Start with your Google My Business page and work your way all the way down to guest posting.
Don’t wait – get started today!