When people want answers, they turn to Google. That includes those who have questions or inquiries about local companies. New to town and need to find the best Chinese takeout? Google can show you. Looking for a reliable plumber in your neck of the woods? Google can show you. Not sure where the nearest Laundromat happens to be? Google can show you.
But if Google is where people turn with their local business questions, it’s up to you to position your brand as an answer. In other words, you’ve got to show up on those search engine results pages. You’ve got to make it easy for local consumers to discover you.
That’s what local SEO is all about. And this is not just an abstract marketing concept. This has real, bottom-line significance for your business.
A recent Forbes article puts it this way: “50 percent of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store that same day. And if your business’s visibility is not ranking highly in your area, your brick and mortar location could be losing out to competitors.”
So how can you improve your visibility among local consumers? How can you make sure your brand is discoverable by people in your area who are asking the right kinds of questions? Allow us to offer a few suggestions.
Improving Your Local Visibility
- Put contact information on every page of your website. It’s especially critical to include a local phone number, with area code, that helps Google know which customers count as “local” for you.
- Seek opportunities in the local press. This isn’t necessarily something you’ll be able to do overnight, but reaching out to local papers and blogs—or sending out press releases—can help you get some off-site citations. This is an important ingredient in local SEO.
- Get local links. Seek out opportunities to have your website linked from a local business bureau, professional organization, or chamber of commerce.
- Improve internal linking, as well. Your website should have a lot of interconnectivity—specifically, links to relevant blog posts or evergreen Web pages, guiding website users through your site.
- Don’t forget meta data! Both your title tags and meta descriptions provide useful opportunities for you to insert geographic keywords.
- Make sure you have a Google My Business profile. It’s an important way to shore up some SEO cred.
- Seek out customer reviews. We talk about reviews all the time, and it’s because they are really important. If you want to show Google that your business is a trusted resource, you’ve got to ask customers to furnish you with five-star ratings.
- Provide meaningful content. There is no better way than a blog! Create helpful and informative content that local customers will want to bookmark, send to their friends, or even share on social media.
- Promote your blog. Writing is half the battle. Going out there and promoting your content with other bloggers in your industry helps you get more backlinks and grow your SEO visibility. Use a tool like Linkio to plan and track your backlink campaigns and be consistent about performing blogger outreach and getting your content in front of people who would find it valuable.
Remember: Local SEO is all about bringing in new, paying customers. To get started, follow some of these tips today; and for help with content creation, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. Find us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.