As a local small business, your online presence can make a big difference in gaining visibility in your community and turning website traffic into customers. The best way for small businesses to make that happen is to focus on local SEO which is a combination of tried and true organic SEO practices along with brand awareness for your geographical location. If you want to get your business in front of more people, check out these 6 ways to improve your local SEO presence!
How to Improve Local SEO
For local businesses, getting seen by potential local customers involves a number of strategies that can improve their online presence. These are listed with the most important strategies first so you can improve your local SEO quicker.
#1 Create a Google My Business Account
Creating a Google My Business account is the first step in improving your local SEO. This is a free service that will cause the geographic location of your business to show up in search results and on maps, along with your website and contact information. Your name, address, and phone number should be consistent anywhere your business is listed to ensure credibility with search engines and potential customers. Another benefit is that when your business is authenticated by Google, you might show up in the sidebar of a Google search, a valuable place to be Wordstream.
Google My Business allows an inside look into your business with quick access to
- Your NAP and website information (NAP+W)
- Store hours
- A description of your business
- Customer ratings
- When you are busiest
- A map and directions
- Photos posted by you and your customers
- A virtual tour
Other business listing sites include Yelp, Bing Places, and Apple Maps.
#2 Earn Positive Reviews
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your local business is to gain consistent positive reviews. According to BrightLocal’s 2019 Consumer Review Survey, “82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.” According to that same survey:
- 90% of consumers find a local business online
- 97% of those who read reviews also read the businesses’ review responses
- The average time reading reviews is almost 13.5 minutes
- Stars matter with almost half of people saying they wouldn’t use a business with less than four stars
Besides earning positive reviews on sites like Google, TripAdvisor, and Apple Maps, small business owners should post reviews on their own sites. And don’t only include positive ratings. People may think it’s fishy if all of your reviews are positive. As well, whenever possible, respond to reviews so that visitors know you are engaged and care.
#3 Perform Keyword Research
Just like with organic SEO, you want to do keyword research to see what visitors are searching for to find your businesses or find the competition. Often consumers search under long-tail keyword phrases such as “electricians near Phoenix Arizona” or “electricians in Phoenix”. Both in your content and your listings and citations you’ll want to include keyword phrases whenever possible that cater to these local searches for your small business. You can include references to your business and location, and even include metro areas or larger cities nearby. Under your service listings, for example, you could include experienced and reliable electricians, affordable electrician services, etc. You can use free keyword search tools like Bulk Keyword Generator and even see what people are searching for on Craigslist and eBay using Ahrefs.
#4 Become Mobile-Friendly
The mobile device industry is huge and mobile-friendly pages have a big impact on end-user actions. In fact, according to a 2017 study by Acquisio, 75% of searches related to local goods or services resulted in actual store visits within 24 hours, and about 30% of those visitors made a purchase. The more user-friendly the page, the better the results will be for businesses. It’s frustrating when pages aren’t mobile-friendly and don’t stay within the bounds of the device, or are difficult to read and navigate. Most if not all website development services include options for making your site mobile-friendly.
In line with this concept is making your entire online presence aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. Include a variety of delivery modes including words, pictures, videos, and the like. Make sure pages load quickly both on mobile devices and computers, and ensure that pages are easy to navigate with enough white space, easy to click links and the proper use of headings and subheadings.
#5 Build Relevant Citations
Citations are listings that include your NAP+W. It’s important to check the accuracy of all citations about your business on the net and correct any errors. You can use Moz Local as one way to check your citations. According to Ahrefs as referenced above, you’ll want to check your listings on these sites:
- Neustar Localeze
- Thomson Local
You can also perform manual citation audits, and build your own citations. You can find a list here of 50 citation sites to build citations. Other suggestions by Ahrefs include your local chamber of commerce and local business directories.
#6 Create “About Us” Pages
On your small business website, you can include “About Us” pages or location pages that have basic information just like Google My Business lists such as:
- Your NAP
- Business description
- Description of your goods and services
- Links to other pages on your site
- Sales and promotions
- Where to park
- Your busiest hours
- Driving directions from certain areas
- A map
- A virtual tour
- Store announcements
If you have multiple locations, you’ll want to create a page for each location.
Let BizIQ Help You Improve Your Local SEO
As you can see local SEO is very important to increasing your visibility and earning customers. It also creates brand awareness and builds credibility with visitors and search engines. By following these tips to improve your SEO you’ll be well on your way to getting the results you’re looking for.
If you’d like more help with content marking and improving your online presence, BizIQ is here to help by offering competitive local SEO pricing. Give us a call at our Phoenix office at (888) 416-9800 or fill out our contact form so we can get in touch and help you achieve your small business goals.