If you own a small business in a fixed location and are not taking advantage of local SEO, then you’re really missing out on a lot of business opportunities! For years now the amount of localized searches has steadily increased. And as mobile technology has advanced, this type of activity has become universal. So what can you, the business owner, do to make sure that your business is listed at the very top of the local search results? We’re going to go over five crucial steps to ensure that you get the most out of your local SEO.
Step 1: Set Up A Google Places Profile
Before you do anything else, you need to set up your Google Places profile. Google Places allows you to control what information Google presents to users about your business. You provide information such as descriptions, images, your hours of operation as well as contact information. Even if you’ve already set up a profile, it’s best to go back and make sure that all of your information is correct and that each relevant field is completely filled out.
Step 2: Build Local Citation
After setting up your Google Places profile, start building your local citation. Citations are online references to business names, addresses and phone numbers (also referred to as NAP). The quickest and most efficient way to build these citations is to start with local business directories. Most of them will actually list your website for free. When submitting to these sites, it’s very important that the information you provide, your NAP, match that on your website and Google Places profile exactly. You should also consider getting an email address specifically for this because there’s a good chance that you’ll get a lot of spam. Guest blogging and reaching out to other small business owners is also a good way to build citations.
Step 3: Perform On Site SEO
Sure, everyone know that to rank in Google, you need to include relevant keywords. However, not many businesses realize that if they are interested in local seo, then they need to include their location in their content as well. Even if your business has more than one location, you can create individual pages for each location that you want to target.
Step 4: Become Active On Social Media
Become active on all the major social media platforms. Sure, social media signals are not yet considered to be one of the most important ranking factors for those who would like to optimize their local SEO, but it really helps to make people aware of your presence. And this can do wonders for your reputation locally. Create a Twitter, Facebook and Google+ account. Link all profiles back to your site, post regular updates and add social media sharing buttons to each page of your site.
Step 5: Garner Reviews
It’s very important that you aim to generate as many positive reviews on Google+ Local listing as you possibly can. Not only is this great for you business, but it’s awesome for your local SEO. Do this by creating flyers that gives your customers details on how they leave a review. You can also include this information on your business cards and sales receipts.You can also encourage customers to leave reviews by including a ‘review button’ on your website. In a lot of cases, these customers will also refer to your location in their review.
Believe it or not, not every small business owner pays attention to their local seo. This means that by simply following these steps, you’ll be able to get a huge edge on your competition. It may take a little time and research, but in the end it’s definitely worth it.