To become a local business celebrity in your part of the world, you need to consider your search engine optimization a.k.a SEO. Think about how your business is perceived on the web? How can you make it EASIER for people to find you? How can you add more value to your products or services?
WHAT IS LOCAL SEO? AND, WHY DO YOU NEED IT ...
Local SEO is a must if you want to attract local customers – usually those up to 75 miles of where you operate your business. When people turn to Google to search for a product or service you offer, they get to meet YOUR business. It tells them you EXIST. You can then convert hot leads into SALES.
It makes your business look more credible (verification, maps, customer reviews and the like can also help to achieve this).
Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure even better local SEO:
1. OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE
Your website is STILL your business’ most important online asset, so make sure it’s properly optimized. Fix broken links, and ensure that meta tags, page titles, and images are properly labeled. It's also vital that your website is mobile friendly. Google no longer favors websites who aren't optimized for local searches. This could mean your company will be held back from search results, which means less visibility for you and your business. Do you really want to risk that? If your website isn't mobile friendly, get that resolved ASAP.
2. VERIFY YOUR BUSINESS LISTINGS ON LOCAL DIRECTORIES
To improve SEO, make sure your business name, location, phone number and email address are up-to-date and consistent across all directory websites. Include your business on as many directory listings websites as possible – think Yellowbook, YELP, YellowPages, Facebook and Google+. This practice is time consuming but essential. Make sure your business name, location, phone number and email address are consistent across all the directory listings. If you have more than one physical location, create separate listings.
You're probably thinking, “I do not have the time to add my business listing to all those directories.” And who wouldn't agree with that?
Although choosing someone to do some (or all) of your local SEO is the more costly option, the only other option is to do it yourself.
Whatever your decision, just make one. Either do it yourself or hire someone to help you.
Local SEO services can range anywhere from $17/month to $10,000/month. You get what you pay for, that applies to everything in life, and what may appear to be the least expensive option may not necessarily be the cheapest option. Catch my drift?
3. ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO LEAVE A REVIEW
User reviews are a crucial aspect of improving the visibility of your business on local search listings.
As a human species, sometimes it can be hard to hear the truth – even from someone who has our best interests at heart. This may be why so many local businesses avoid responding to user reviews on third-party websites (Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp etc.). If you provide a good service (which you do), there’s nothing to fear.
Email customers after they have purchased a product from your site and encourage them to leave a user review. Even better, provide them with a list of links to review sites where they can leave one for you.
Take the time to respond to these reviews, especially the negative ones. Thank the customer for their feedback and ask them to contact you directly if they wish to discuss the matter further.
Oh, and… DON’T leave fake reviews, focus you energy on creating a great customer experience instead!
4. FOCUS ON YOUR MOBILE EXPERIENCE
Local SEO is where mobile technology is heading. Think about how many times you opened your phone to search for something like "closest GREEK restaurant” and then received a list of results.
Make sure your website is mobile friendly, fully updated, with maps, contact details, and plenty of relevant information that will help to increase your mobile traffic. Major search engines have been making dramatic shifts to restructure their local mobile results pages so it is vital that you keep up with these changes.
5. GIVE GIVE GIVE
VALUE that is. Once they find you on Google give them a reason to stick around! Create content that helps your audience get where they want to go, become who they want to become, and do what they want to do. In other words, write, blog or create videos about topics they are most interested in. Search engines LOVE content. Creating fresh content regularly is the best way to connect with your audience because it allows them to see that you care about them in a very genuine and sincere way, and will keep them coming back to your website, hence increasing your website traffic and email subscription list.
To wrap up, making it easier for potential buyers to find you can result in more website traffic, customers and boost your bottom line! The time you spend working on increasing your visibility will bring you that much closer to becoming a LOCAL CELEBRITY!
If you are ready to shine online, schedule a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to help your business!