5 Local SEO Tips Every Small Business Owner Can Benefit From
Local SEO can be a tricky subject. As if SEO itself wasn’t confusing enough, going local adds in a lot of new variables you didn’t have to account for previously, like reviews, geolocation, and more.
While we could write a book on local SEO (hmm, maybe we should?), I think a great way to get you on track is to briefly cover 5 local SEO tips that we think every single small business owner can benefit from, and should implement in their marketing strategy right away.
1. Get your website in tip top shape
There’s no online asset more valuable than your website, and none more important to get right. Choose a domain name helps to guide users to understanding your business and how you can help them. Make sure your page titles, meta descriptions, and H1 tags accurately portray the kind of services or products you offer.
One of the most important things you can do is to ensure that you incorporate your business’ name, address, and phone number into every page of your website, preferably somewhere visible, like the header or sidebar. This is called your NAP. Don’t forget this.
2. Encourage Users to Leave Reviews (And Respond to them!)
79% of consumers place equal weight on both online reviews and personal recommendations. Once you realize that fact, it becomes glaringly obvious that your online reviews are a potential gold mine. Or your path to complete online destruction. Do you want to leave that up to chance? I didn’t think so.
First off, don’t fake reviews. Ever. It’s completely illegal, and Google (and other search engines and review portals) are cracking down on the practice of falsifying reviews hard. Additionally, you can’t ask for a “positive” review in exchange for an incentive. You can and should, however, ask for honest reviews, and offer discounts, coupon codes, gift cards, etc., in exchange for truthful feedback. Give you customers a variety of places they can leave feedback, like Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and the like, so that you can spread your message and your review profile is diverse.
Always be proactive when it comes to responding to reviews. All of them. Good, or bad. Sincerely thank they customer for their feedback, and state what you will do to make the situation better. Remember, the customer is always right, even if their not. Use this as an opportunity to show how much you care.
Here’s the truth: You can’t please everyone. Even if you have the best steakhouse in town, someone, somewhere, for an infinite number of reasons, may find that they had a negative experience. No one is perfect, so don’t pretend to be. Just graciously accept the criticism, and do what you can to turn the situation around. We like using this for determining why reviews are important.
3. NAP Consistency
I told you to remember NAP, right? Well it was for a good reason. Every single place that you promote or advertise your business should have consistent information across the board. Being consistent will help will help you maintain a strong brand in the online world, and it’s a strong indicator to Google that you are serious about your online presence.
Quick tip: Make sure that not only is your information consistent, but the style in which you write it is as well. For example, don’t list (954) 123-4567 on one site as your phone number, and on another listing 954-123-4567. Keep the format and style as consistent as the information itself, wherever possible. WE mentioned some times before how some local seo tips could give you multiple listings
4. Don’t neglect Social Media
The title really says it all. Sometimes, business owners get into the habit of thinking “my customers aren’t on social media!”, and more often than not, they’re dead wrong. Social is all around us, and it’s own of the best places to not only find customers, but to increase your authority in the eyes of Google and the other search engines.
The more activity you have on your various social pages, the more visitors and followers you’ll garner, and those pages (and your website) will fare better on the SERPS (search engine results pages) as a result.
5. Content is King
We talk about content a lot here on the NoRisk blog, and make no mistake, there’s a reason for that. Content is one of the most valuable online assets you can have as a business owner. Content captures your audience’s attention like no advertisement can.
Additionally, quality content solidifies your position as an expert in your niche, and it helps to educate your potential customers or clients on your product, services, and industry.
Google is a big fan of content as well. It’s proven that the search algorithm heavily favors businesses that produce fresh content. Content can additionally help you to rank for long tail search terms that can drive you very powerful traffic and business to your website.
SEO isn’t easy. It’s also not a “do this, than that will happen” type of approach. It requires time, effort, experimentation, and patience. But these five local SEO tips will definitely get you on the right track