When you own a brick-and-mortar business, your SEO endeavors tend to be highly focused. What you want, ultimately, is to get foot traffic—to get people into your store to make purchases. As such, you want to market to a very specific audience—locals. When you own a mom-and-pop shop in Los Angeles, it’s not especially advantageous to market yourself to customers in New York, Vancouver, or Beijing.
In other words, a big part of your SEO online marketing strategy should be local SEO—showing up on the Google search engine results page (SERP), and perhaps even in a coveted map pack position, when people in your area conduct searches with commercial intent.
Local SEO doesn’t have to be a big, daunting, or overly technical undertaking, either. In this post, we’re going to list five simple ways in which business owners can position their brands for local visibility.
How to Improve Your Local Search Results
Claim All Your Local Listings
First of all, local SEO isn’t just about your website. You want to create as many customer touch points as you can, which means claiming your Google My Business page, starting a Facebook page, and taking advantage of sites such as Yelp. Industry-specific sites, like TripAdvisor, can also be handy to have. Make sure that, on each listing you establish, you present consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information. In other words, always list the same local phone number, and avoid listing your business name differently (i.e. don’t say Al’s Pancake House in one listing but Al’s Pancakes in another).
Include Contact Information Throughout Your Website
That NAP information should be displayed on your website, too—and in fact, we’d recommend including it on every page, not just on a Contact Us hub. This information is used by Google’s algorithms to determine your location, so including it on every page of your website is smart.
Use Localized Keywords—Naturally
If your storefront is set up in San Diego, California, it’s wise to include San Diego and/or California in your content here and there—though make sure you don’t overdo it! Google wants content that reads as naturally and smoothly as possible. We see sites that overstuff local keywords, and the result is something like this: “Looking for a San Diego plumbing company? Our San Diego plumbing company offers San Diego plumbing services to…” This, of course, is ridiculous. You can be natural and judicious in your keyword placement without making it seem robotic.
Ask for Reviews
Reviews from local customers go a long way toward boosting your SEO. Make sure your customers feel encouraged to leave feedback in the form of a Yelp review, a Facebook review, or—best of all—a Google review. Include review links on your website, and encourage people to offer you their thoughts.
Get Local Links and Citations
Finally, you’ll benefit greatly from having other local businesses or organizations link to your website. The easiest way to achieve this is to reach out to local chambers of commerce, BBBs, or professional organizations, and to simply ask for links in their online directories. It really is that simple!
Be Found by Local Customers
Local SEO has a direct, bottom-line purpose behind it—you want people to find you, to visit your business, and to become paying customers. As such, an investment in local SEO can pay huge dividends, especially when it’s done right.
We’d love to talk with you more about what effective local SEO looks like. Connect with Driven2020 today to begin that important conversation about the future of your brand!