SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of getting free traffic to your website through search results on search engines. All of the major search engines, whether it’s Google, Bing or Yahoo, show the user their search results in rank order based on what the search engine considers to be the most relevant websites, videos or local listings to the search.
Similarly, local SEO is also the process of getting free, or organic traffic to your website. Where local SEO differs is that it focuses on local businesses that serve a community or a geographic area. A searcher’s use of local keywords and phrases produce search results relevant to the local area they’re looking to do business.
Is local SEO important to my business?
If your business works directly with your customer and community face-to-face, local SEO could be very important to the growth and success of your business.
Imagine you’ve just woken up to the realization that there’s water backing up in tub and when the kid flushed, water started running all over the place. What do you do next? Chances are you pull out your mobile device and speak into it, “plumber near me.” It wasn’t long ago that I was that someone. Whether your business is plumbing, electrical services, landscaping, accounting or legal services, the same thing applies. When your potential new local customer has a need for your services, many go straight to a local search.
When someone is looking for your service in your part of town, showing up in the first 3-5 results can be the difference between YOU having an opportunity to serve that customer, or your competitor getting that chance.
Still need some convincing? Check out these statistics regarding Google local search.
5 Local SEO Tactics You Can Take Advantage of Now
There are several things you can start doing now to gain traction in your efforts to rank at the top of search results.
- Optimize your website with localized content. You can start by ensuring that your business name, address and phone number (NAP) is located on every page. Include content that says something about the local area where you’re located and you service. This can include a recognized landmark that you’re near, a local team you follow or partner with, or anything else that is unique to your area. Not only will your customers connect with the content, but it will increase your search visibility as a local business.
- Claim you Google My Business listing. Statistics suggest that nearly 3 out of 4 searches are on Google. Your Google My Business listing is what shows up when users search your business name, address, information and relevant keywords. Your listing will also appear on Google Maps. Plus…it’s free.
- Add your business to other online directories. There are almost too many to count. Yelp, YP.com, Manta, Thumbtack, Angie’s List are just a few. Search engines consistently scan these listings. Ensuring your listings are accurate with appropriate business category across multiple directories will help improve your presence.
- Include a blog on your website. Starting a blog and posting regularly with content that is rich with keywords related to the services you offer, as well as your local area. Don’t over do it. It should be strategic, but at the same time natural. You’ll likely have a post with great keywords simply based on a relevant topic that you choose. A local landscaper may consider a post about what’s blooming in Cincinnati this month, for example.
- Engage in social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or a combination, consistent engagement with your social media audience is a great way to let your followers get to know you, but is also a great way to link back to your blog or other pages on your site that can help increase your rankings.
I may be dating myself, but some may remember opening the yellowpages (that 3-inch thick book of business listing that used to show up on your doorstep). It didn’t matter what business category you turned to, there were several listings that had some variation of A’s and 1’s in their listing so that they made it to the top of the category. Finding your way to the top of search results is a little trickier today than just naming your business AAA Services. But with a strategy and consistent execution, you can move up the rankings. Once you find your business on the first page, then in the top several listings, you’ll see the difference that your Local SEO strategy made in your growth and success.
Ben McVay leads PinPoint Local in Northeast Cincinnati. We work with local Cincinnati businesses and focus on driving more customers to you by improving your online presence. Looking for more information? You can request a free website audit or consultation by completing the form below.