In the age of instant information and smartphones in every pocket, Local SEO rose to become one of the more powerful tools for businesses of all sizes. Everyone sees and understands the importance of Maps Listings and “Near Me” searches… but we still get a lot of questions concerning where to start and what “Local” SEO means.
Some of the best strategies for Local SEO are things that any business owner can get started on. Many of these things are possible to work on from the comfort of your home or office but can still feel daunting without an introduction. That’s why the team at Efferent Media put together these five strategies to get you started.
1. NAP Consistency
NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone Number” and is one of the better – and important – places to start when optimizing your business for local traffic. Search Engines, directories, maps, and more will pull your information from a variety of sources that you will need to be consistent with.
We’ve all seen companies that have INC. on Google Maps but no INC. on Facebook. Maybe the address says Suite 2 on the website, but they have Apt #2 listed on directories. These can appear to be little things but making sure that your business’s name is the same everywhere, that your address is correct on all platforms, and that you are listing the right phone number… are integral.
There are some great free tools out there that will let you find inconsistencies across various websites and give you a steppingstone to improving your Local presence.
2. Google My Business/Bing Place
When you want to find somewhere to grab dinner, need to find the closest Target, start planning a road trip or vacation… we open maps. It might be a Google Maps search, it might be an application on your phone, or you might even be asking Siri what’s open tonight.
Having an optimized Google My Business or Bing Places listing means that you will start appearing for those searches when relevant. And optimizing these listings is as simple and proving you own the business, fixing the name and address, and adding some information. Add a handful of images of your work, the storefront, or products so people have a visual hook. Update business categories, services, and tags to remove any ambiguity and improve qualified traffic.
There are even options for tags concerning “women-led business,” “veteran-led business,” “wheelchair accessible entrance,” “cash only,” “appointment required,” and more. These tags don’t need to be added all at once, but the more relevant information that you add to your business, the more likely the right people find you and convert.
3. Review Generation
Small, local businesses need reviews. Getting customer and client reviews on Google, Yelp, Angi, TrustPilot, and other similar sites are the new “Word of Mouth.” Easy access to a wide array of reviews concerning your business, services, and/or products is a trust signal which helps potential customers finalize their decision.
When you’re looking for a landscaper for your yard, an exterminator for wasps in your shed, or even just want to find a good sandwich shop – seeing that the business has regular, recent reviews will help you feel more comfortable spending your money with a reputable business.
4. Local Directories
The internet is full of directories but many of them don’t seem as important as they once had been. Making sure that you are listed on a Yelp, FourSquare, or Yellow Pages type of directory is a good start. Where it gets even better is researching your local directories.
Did you know that directories can be granular down to the county or town? Some neighborhoods have their own directory sites of small local businesses. Even your nearby Chamber of Commerce can have a business directory or links to ones relevant to your area.
5. Localized Service Pages & Keywords
SEO has been espousing “Content is King” for as long as SEO has existed. Tailoring content to your service areas or immediate location can help give the necessary signals to the search engines when someone is looking for a similar business or related keyword in that area.
It’s important not to go too crazy with service area pages. If you’re a small business with 10 pages on your website, it could hurt your relevancy by adding a page for all 200 towns, cities, and villages in your area. Consider looking at analytics data and picking nearby regions, counties, or major towns.
If your business serves an entire state, having service area pages for popular regions might be the best bet. For example, a New Jersey business might have a Northern, Southern, Central, and Jersey Shore page to pull in “near me” type searches. Meanwhile, a NYC-based business might just include service pages for the Boroughs, with some additional pages for Williamsburg, Astoria, and Midtown if those areas have strong potential.
Efferent Media Can Help You Improve Your Local Presence
If you need help improving your Local SEO presence, the team at Efferent Media can help you get that ball moving. For more information on how we can help you with local SEO, PPC, content marketing, and more… give us a call at (631) 867-0900 or send us a message today.