Creating a website is now a lot simpler for small businesses. No longer do they need to fork out thousands to get a web developer, content writer and graphic designer to come on board and get the job done.
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Nowadays, you can go to an SEO reseller who will be able to offer your there services for lower prices or there are even free online platforms allowing small business owners to create a website all on their own without needing to know how to code. Also, there are various freelancers that can help build the shell of your website for a cost-effective price.
However, SEO, on the other hand, is something that small businesses do look for in a service. As the internet plays a large part in the running of any business, it seems as though entrepreneurs cannot ignore the need for SEO and that is understandable, especially if you are just starting out with your business.
In order to Dominate Your Region: Top Tips to Increase Your Local Rank, it takes more than just writing content. It’s about knowing which tactics are right for your business, particularly if it’s local traffic that you are after. Here are some key things that small businesses can do to improve their local SEO.
Create a Google Business page
Keeping Google at the center of all online ranking practices is something most of us know to be true, and the same goes for local traffic. Google’s Business page allows you to create a local Google platform that will allow your business to be listed, verified and start to attract local searches.
It requires a physical address, and a verification postcard will then be sent to this location. When you receive the postcode, you will then be asked to submit a unique code which will allow Google to verify that your business is legitimate.
Having this type of profile helps with local searches as it throws up your address and features your business as one in that area if the search relates. For example, if someone types into Google “financial planners Sydney” and you have a Google Business profile with this a Sydney address, then your Google profile will have a high chance of being seen.
Use locations in page titles and URLs
A great way to boost your local SEO is to place your town or suburb into the content as a keyword and use the location in your URL. If your business has more than 1 location, then you should do this for each of your locations and have a dedicated page for each.
Remember to include the business name, address and phone number on each of these pages, as well as mention any surrounding suburbs in the content if possible.
When writing blogs dedicated to a particular suburb, remember to tag and categorize these blogs appropriately. For example, using the financial planning in Sydney example again, all blogs with this topic or keyword should be tagged with “Sydney”. This will ensure that the location of Sydney will be featured in the URL.
Gather local reviews
It takes time to build a reputation online. Most people, before they engage with a product or service, will take the time to do some research online. A way to showcase your business’ credibility is through high rating reviews. If you are after local business and traffic, then having local reviews is one of the best endorsements you can receive.
Reviews show up on your Google My Business page if your listing does appear. Having your business show up as one of the top results, including a high review score, will significantly improve your chances of searchers clicking through to your website from the listing.
Don’t’ forget about mobile friendliness
Almost every element of SEO needs to take into account mobile friendliness. When people are looking for a local service, many are doing this on the run. For example, they may be in a certain location and are looking for the best local pizza place for lunch.
Normally local searchers are done by those living in the area, or those visiting the area and need a business on the go. Have you noticed that when you type something into Google on mobile, the local searchers in your current area appear? It uses your location to pick out the local businesses that might be the most relevant to you.
Therefore, having all details at a glance for this type of local search is crucial. Have your phone number, address and operating hours clearly listed. When people are in a hurry or want to get something fast, they will use this information to decide whether your business is right for them.
Also, if someone is doing research on the go from their phone, the responsive sites will allow for visitors to stay on a site longer, increasing online optimisation for that site.
Ensuring you have the right local SEO strategy is crucial for businesses that want their site to pull in more customers to their physical locations. In combination with a traditional link building strategy, that also includes keywords and the right URL structure, this will ensure small businesses can capture local traffic.
Remember to take advantage of a Google Business page. Taking into account Google should be a priority in any SEO strategy. It is a trusted way to get your business in front of local consumers. It may take some time for you to receive your verification code, but once you do verify your business page, you should start to see the amount of views you get for your page.
Don’t forget tried and tested online ranking strategies for your local strategy. For example, using location keywords and ensuring your URLs also feature these keywords. If you have multiple business locations, do this for each one.
Once you have a visible presence, you’ll want to attract customers to make direct contact with you through gathering local reviews. Knowing that a local community trusts what your have to offer will be very appealing to those that are in your area or visiting.
Also, mobile friendliness is crucial. When people are on the move, they are either going somewhere or looking for somewhere to go. Make sure if they are looking for your type of product or service, you’re ready for them to find you and engage with you on mobile.
Having a local online strategy takes a few tweaks, yet can yield a lot of results. If you want to attract people to your bricks and mortar business, or want to drive local traffic to your site, prioritise your local SEO strategy.