7 Simple Tips to Help Improve Your Local SEO Strategy
Having trouble getting your local business to show up in the Google search results?
Use these seven local SEO tips and watch your rankings drastically improve.
So, it’s 2018 and dominating search engine results on the world wide web using local SEO tactics is finally part of your small business strategy. Well done.
But if you’re a local business, dominating Google search results can be very tricky, which is why Local SEO (search engine optimization) is more important to help your local business get found online in the search results.
Believe it or not, 50% of potential customers who do a simple local search on their iPhone visit that very store that very same day.
So, what happens if your business doesn’t show up in the top three search results in your area? Or worse, what happens if your business doesn’t even show up at all in a local search?
Either way, you are definitely losing business to your competition who is doing a better job of ranking than you are.
Don’t panic. All is not lost.
SEO might sound like a foreign language to you, but it’s a lot simpler than you think.
And while improving your search rankings takes time, there are some easy steps you can take to being improving your businesses local SEO right away.
Here are seven tips you can start using today that will help you create a local search strategy that can drastically improve your search results.
1. Get Local Coverage
The best way to improve your search rankings is by appearing in local major publications since these are viewed as authority sites by Google and are indexed high on Google as well.
What kind of publications?
Think about your local newspaper or your local TV station. Local news is always looking to promote local businesses, especially if your business can help solve a pressing issue in the community.
Newspapers are also a great way to get local coverage as they are constantly trying to find relevant topics to fill their pages.
Start creating relationships with local journalists who can help you get a foot in the door.
Once you start to get local coverage, make sure these publications link back to your website as these backlinks are worth the price of gold.
2. Get Brand New, High-Quality Links
Getting links that point back to your website use to be all about quantity. The more other websites linked back to your site, the better your site looked to Google. Those days are long gone.
Now it’s all about quality. It’s far better to have two or three high quality, highly authoritative sites linking to your site than seven mediocre sites. Especially if the sites have nothing to do with your business.
In fact, getting links for the sake of getting links can cause Google to penalize your website and that will significantly hurt your search rankings.
So how do you go about getting brand new, high-quality links pointing to your website?
Consider giving a presentation to business students at a local university, lead a discussion at regional business organization meetings or publish an article online, and use those opportunities to have the associated organizations link to the company’s website.
3. Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
The majority of local business websites have terrible website architecture. The major problem is that most sites often have their most important pages only being linked to from the main navigation menu and footer.
This is not good if you want to rank better on Google.
If this sounds like your website, add internal links where it’s relevant from other pages on your site. Like blog posts, informational pages, and key service pages.
By simply adjusting how your site links internally you can see an increase in rankings (maps and organic). This is a must do.
4. Make Sure Your Title Tags Include Your Local SEO Keyword
To help specific pages rank locally, optimize your title tags with the local keyword.
For example, your title tag could be “car insurance Hamilton.” This signals to search engines that this page is directly tied to Hamilton and will thus be more likely to show up in searches from your geographic area and explicit searches for the local term.
5. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
This is assuming that you have already claimed your Google My Business listing. If not, this should be the first thing you do.
Claiming your Google My Business profile is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your local SEO.
This is a business listing that shows up for local searches. You need to have a physical location and street address (not a P.O. box) to set up or claim a listing.
Optimizing this profile with a category, contact information, images and business hours gives a big boost in local search.
If you really want to take full advantage of what Google My Business can do for your business and search rankings, check out this blog post on How To Setup and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing.
6. Claim and Optimize Your Local Business Profiles
Make it easier for your customers (and soon-to-be customers) to find you by establishing a presence on popular review sites for your industry such as Google+, Yelp, and Yellow Pages.
Each local profile you create acts like another “platform” for local visitors to land on.
It’s an incredible opportunity to improve local SEO and demonstrate social proof, which will help drive people back to your website.
7. Associate Your Business With Your Local Area
First things first. Make sure your website is setup with the proper local SEO for getting results in local search.
Then immediately setup and optimize your Google My Business and Google Maps listing before finally setting up your local citations and local listings.
Make sure (without being spammy) to make it clear to search engines the area that your business wishes to dominate, and the full extent of your service area.
This isn’t a simple answer, but it is the one that will work. Simple doesn’t get you ranking: quality, comprehensive hard work does.
There you have it - seven simple SEO tips that you can use today to start getting better local search results.
There’s a lot of other SEO tips and tricks out there, but if you are just starting out, and just want to get more traffic, leads and customers, implementing these seven tips can drastically increase your search results.
Even if you just implemented five of these tips odds are that you are going to do more than most of your competitors, some of which might not have even heard of the term SEO before.
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