Local business owners want new leads. Without leads, their business eventually dies so in many cases you will see websites and business owners either learning SEO or outsourcing it (recommended) to a professional.
The Yellow Pages are about as relevant to marketing as Charlie Sheen is to acting, and local business owners know that in order to reach a steady flow of new potential clients they need to engage in digital marketing in 2019 and beyond. In this post, we will focus on the marketing strategy SEO and share 5 tips you can implement right away to see some gains with your website in regards to SEO and organic reach.
Top 5 Actionable Local SEO Tips
- Optimize Better – It sounds cliche or shallow, but the bottom line is a good majority of local business owners that have not hired an SEO to help them get moving have awful on-page SEO. In a lot of cases, you will see “Home” as the title for the home page of their website, and that is about as critical of a mistake you can make. It goes far beyond the home title but clearly shows that on-page optimization had been totally overlooked when setting up the website.
- Add or Claim Google My Business – If your business is new, simply head over to https://www.google.com/business/ and create your new listing. If you have not claimed your GMB listing, do so immediately. Claiming your listing gives you an opportunity to optimize the listing, giving you a better chance to get into the coveted 3 pack.
- Nail Down Citations – Aside from GMB optimization, doing a good job with your citations will go a long way to powering up and ranking your Google My Business listing. You will want to get listed on as many of the directory sites as possible, and the KEY thing to remember when doing this is to make sure your NAP info is exactly the same across all platforms. What is NAP? Name Address Phone #. You would be surprised at how many people get this information wrong, or just do a lazy job of getting it right. Even the smallest of discrepancies can negatively impact your rankings in the Maps so make sure to take the time to get it right.
- Get Reviews – According to Search Engine Journal, almost 90% of consumers trust reviews that they read online. With almost every being active online and on social media it really is not very hard to ask for reviews from satisfied customers. Always ask customers to leave reviews on Google My Business, and as a business owner, it is critical that you reply to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative.
- Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly – If your website is not mobile friendly, it might be time to upgrade and get with the times. The bottom line is that more people are conducting searches on a mobile device than they are on desktop computers, and Google knows this. If your website is not mobile friendly they will give preferential treatment to websites that are because Google wants to provide their users with the best user experience possible, and having a mobile searcher land on a website that is not mobile friendly is NOT providing a good user experience. If you are not looking to pony up and have an entirely new website built a good alternative is Dude Mobile. Duda can help create something mobile friendly so that when a user finds your website on a mobile device it will give them something they can actually work with and read.
Local SEO Tips – Closing Thoughts
Ranking in local search does not come with an XYZ plan. In some cases, it will be much harder than others. For example, a personal injury attorney in Chicago is going to need to do a lot more than a Milwaukee SEO company would need based on sheer volume of competition.
The best thing you can do is take a list like this and start getting them done. You will likely find that the tasks at hand are very tedious, technical, and time-consuming. If you do not have the time or patience to complete these tasks your best bet would be to hire a professional. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, following the steps outlioned above will get your business off to a great start in the local SEO landscape.