Local SEO Guide for Small Businesses
If you provide services for people in a certain area, it is important for your business to show up in Google when people search for terms relating to your services.
Search Engine Optimization helps create visibility on search engines for keywords relating to your business, increasing exposure and traffic, making it a key element to your marketing strategy.
This Guide shows you how to get started with LOCAL SEO
Citations: Citations are an essential part of getting started with ranking for keywords locally. They are essentially directories that your Business Name, Address and Phone number can be listed on. Most importantly you want most of these directories to be local to your state and city, however, national directories also have their advantages. Brightlocal.com is a great tool to use to audit your website for the amount of directories your Name, Address and Phone number are already listed on. You can also start adding your details to high domain authority websites/listings/directories. Alternatively,SEO Experts can be engaged to create these directories on your behalf.
Example of local citation from Brightlocal.com
2. Google My Business: Google My Business is a free business profile tool that helps you reach and engage with local customers. It is essential to have a Google My Business profile for your local business and ensure it is completely filled out with pictures, descriptions and other relevant information about your business. In GMB you can respond to customers’ reviews, message your customers, edit your opening hours, publish upcoming events and deals, see insights on how businesses are using your profile and lots of more important information.
Example of Google My Business Profile on Google
On-Page SEO: On-page optimization means ensuring your website pages are structured and optimized strategically to adhere to search engine guidelines which will help improve rankings for keywords used.
In order to optimize for local seo, audit the website with tools like SEMrush, Tenleemedia.com and Screaming Frog. The audit will highlight the health of the website in relation to SEO optimization requirements. The audit will show percentage scores of your website elements like page speed, duplicate pages, broken links, inline css, social media sharing and a lot more relevant information. All website issues and warnings can be resolved by yourself or with the help of an SEO Consultant.
All URLs, pages and meta tags should be optimized with relevant keywords for your local business listing.
Example of local meta tags from Kitely Tech
Link Building: Link building is the processing of increasing inbound links to a webpage to help boost rankings in search engines.
It is essential to build location relevant links for local listings. When creating a link building campaign, use tools like Similarweb.com to check the location of the website. It is important for the website to be in your local area or in your country. For example, if you provide dentistry services in New York, the strategy to rank more is sourcing for links from websites with headquarters in New York, in the dentistry industry and in the United States. The more location streamlined the link building process the more relevant it is.
There are several methods of building links, start by finding websites already linking to you by using tools like Ahrefs, research competitors and reach out to websites they are linking out to, create free resources relating to your industries to attract links to your website, start an outreach campaigns to bloggers, journalist and publishers for an opportunity for a feature. Reach out to local publications in your niche and/or in your area for guest posting opportunities. Use tools like SEMrush to find broken links and reach out to fix the links. Use blog rich content to generate more links to your website.
Local SEO is an essential part of your inbound marketing strategy, understanding and exercising these techniques will help your business stay visible organically in search engines like Google. It is important to know that SEO is a continuous, long term investment for your business.