How To Leverage Local SEO For Small Businesses
If you own or manage a small business, you know how important it is to attract new potential customers that are looking for what you offer. More than 95% of people are searching online for products and services, which makes local search engine optimization (SEO) one of the best ways to make more connections happen more often!
From creating great content and building quality links to your website to optimizing your Google Business Profile, improving local SEO is one of the best ways to increase your visibility and move your website to the top of search results (and that coveted number one spot)!
What Is Local SEO For Small Businesses?
Local search engine optimization for small businesses is a strategy designed to help your business rank higher in search engine results. By focusing on local SEO, you can improve your site’s credibility, visibility, and overall value to search engines, leading to better results for your business (and more opportunities to hear from potential customers)!
Step-By-Step Guide To Local SEO for Small Businesses
There are numerous ways to build your local SEO, many of which we’ll cover in more detail below. The main thing to remember is that SEO is an ongoing process that, when done correctly, will help you grow your small business online.
Fix Technical Errors
One of the most essential steps to building local SEO is to identify and correct technical errors on your site. Search engines like Google crawl your site constantly and index the content. This process helps identify the type of content you offer, so your website can be served in response to relevant searches.
Every time you make an update to your website or add new pages and content, it will be crawled and re-indexed over time (you can also take steps to speed up the process). When your site has technical errors, it inhibits the ability for these steps to occur (and limits the opportunity for your site to rank higher).
Fixing technical errors is a top priority to improve your local SEO, which is why we recommend starting with this step. If you’re not comfortable identifying and correcting technical errors, reach out to a professional SEO agency specializing in this area!
Create Great SEO Content
Great content doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a strategy to identify and build the right content that your potential customers are searching for. Essentially, you want to answer the questions they are asking. You also need to assess relevant keywords, competition, and how to optimize your content to stand out, particularly if you’re in a competitive space.
Copywriting is a critical part of any SEO strategy and may consist of expanding primary website pages (such as service pages), blogs, informational pages, and more. Once you’ve identified the topics, keywords, and lengths for each piece, you can start writing.
If you’re not an expert in SEO copy, consider working with a copywriter or marketing team that can optimize each piece to help you stand out – and utilize on-page SEO so search engines can find and display your content to more potential customers!
When another website links to yours, it is called a backlink, and it can help add credibility to your website. It’s essentially the same as someone saying to Google; you can trust this business. For that reason, building quality links is a great way to increase your search engine optimization.
Like any SEO effort, building links requires time and energy. Some marketing teams or agencies will purchase multiple links at a time from low-quality sources, which can hurt your credibility and, in some cases, get your site blocked. We never want to see that happen!
Start by identifying the right places to connect with, and never utilize any black hat (or questionable) techniques that promise instant results.
Curious about the types of links that can help your website? Here’s a short list of some common ways to build quality links.
- Other organizations, such as educational institutions or non-profit organizations.
When you partner with an educational institution or a non-profit (through sponsorship or student educational opportunity, for example), that organization may list you on its website. These (.org and .edu sites) are usually high-domain authority websites and can provide excellent opportunities for you to get a quality link.
- Local directories and industry websites.
Local directories such as Yelp, Google Business Profile, and Facebook are well-known directories on which you can create a listing or profile. There are also thousands of smaller directories or industry-specific options that can serve as local citations and links to your website. Be sure to use consistent and accurate information on each listing to help increase your chances of ranking higher. Always fill out additional sections beyond the business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) if offered to take full advantage of the listing’s value.
- Editorial or links from the media.
If you’re an expert in your space, you may want to consider submitting articles to magazines or online websites that allow guest contributors. Similarly, submitting a newsworthy event or announcement to local media may help you achieve a quality link from media outlets.
- Internal links.
As you build your online content, don’t forget to place internal links throughout your own site. If you’re talking about one topic that may be relevant to another issue you’ve written about, you can easily link them together to create a quality internal link on your website. For example, if you’re a vet talking about how best to care for your pet and you mention vaccines, link to the page about a specific vaccine so the visitor can learn more.
- Social media links.
If you’re like most businesses, you probably have some social media presence. Don’t forget to link those accounts to your website (and to those accounts from your website) as that can provide another valuable opportunity to support your SEO efforts.
Listings on platforms like Google’s Business Profile and Apple Maps can be powerful tools in your SEO toolkit. But outdated listings can work against you!
Take the time to identify and audit all your existing listings (not just the big ones). The business name, address, and phone number (or NAP) must be consistent. It’s also important to take advantage of any potential options to expand or optimize your listings with business categories, attributes, descriptions, website links, photos, reviews, offers, events, and more.
Utilize Reviews and Testimonials
Just like links from other businesses can signal credibility, testimonials and customer reviews do the same. One of the best places to collect reviews is on your Google Business Profile, which is integrated with Google’s search engine.
Be sure to outline a process for requesting reviews from clients and responding to reviews routinely. Not only will this support your search engine optimization, but it will help you attract more potential customers as almost 80% report reading reviews when searching for a local business!
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered some key ways to build and improve your local SEO above, but keep reading if you have additional questions.
Don’t see the questions or answers you need? Contact our team at www.bullseyeinternetmarketing.com for more information!
How local SEO helps small businesses?
Local search engine optimization for small businesses is designed to help your website rank higher in search engine results. With local SEO, you can increase site credibility with search engines like Google and increase your visibility to potential customers.
From correcting technical errors to creating intentional, strategic quality content and links, local SEO efforts are an ongoing way to improve your ranking (and hear from more people that want what you offer)!
What is the best way to rank local business in local SEO?
The best way for your business to rank in local SEO is to follow a proven strategy to maximize your credibility on search engines. Some of the best ways to build your SEO include:
- Fix technical errors on your site. Google and other search engines crawl websites and index content continually. The process helps identify the type of business, content, and additional information that determines if your website is a good fit for a search. When your site has errors, existing or new information you add to your site may not be included, meaning your site will have fewer opportunities to show up. Fixing technical errors is a must if you want to improve your local SEO.
- Create great SEO content. Great SEO content involves creating something that is relevant and valuable to your potential customers. To do that, it’s essential to assess relevant (not just general) keywords, understand your competition, and know how to optimize content to reach more people. From your homepage to service pages to blogs and information resources, take the time to identify the best outline, topics, keywords, and length before you begin writing. From there, you can create your own copy or work with an SEO copywriting team to maximize your results.
- Build quality links. Links from other credible sources and sites can add value to your local SEO. It’s like getting a recommendation from another business or organization in the eyes of Google. While building links correctly takes time, it’s important to do it the right way and use only white-hat methods that don’t compromise your website’s credibility. Some great ways to gain links are by submitting guest posts to local educational and non-profit organizations (or sponsoring them), utilizing local directories and citations, increasing internal links on your site, offering stories to media outlets, and connecting your social media accounts to your website.
- Audit existing listings. If you’ve created listings in the past, but it’s been a while since you reviewed them, your information may be outdated. It’s critical to look at your listings because accuracy and consistency play a big part in local SEO. During an audit, you can also take advantage of opportunities to add information to each profile, such as business categories, descriptions, photos, and more!
- Utilize reviews and testimonials. Reviews from happy customers are a great way to add credibility – not only to search engines like Google but also to other potential customers who happen to find your business online. Develop a process to collect (and respond) to reviews from clients routinely. Your Google Business Profile is a great place to start collecting reviews – in addition to other local profiles and citations you may have on business and industry-specific directories.
How to create a winning local SEO strategy for your business?
A winning local SEO strategy utilizes multiple methods to evaluate, manage, and optimize your online business. We recommend using a combination of the following:
- Fixing technical errors, which prohibit search engines like Google from crawling and indexing your site correctly (meaning they can’t find what you offer, and your website may not show up in search results).
- Creating great SEO content, which includes evaluating and identifying strategic keywords and topics that will provide your potential customers with valuable information. You also need to understand what the competition is doing so your content can rise above those resources and be displayed higher in search results!
- Build quality links from other organizations and businesses (including local citations from online directories) to help build your credibility on search engines.
- SEO Audit – BullsEye Internet Marketing to ensure your business name, address, and phone (NAP) are current and consistent. Don’t forget to add any additional details you can to each profile – such as business categories or descriptions, pictures, and more.
- Utilize reviews and testimonials to help build credibility on search engines and to potential customers who want to know they can trust you to do a great job!
What is one tip for small businesses to boost local SEO?
If you’re only going to do one thing to boost your local SEO, start with assessing and fixing any technical errors on your website. If you have technical errors that are prohibiting Google and other search engines from crawling and indexing your website, then no matter how great your content is, your website could be hidden from search results (meaning hidden from new clients who are searching for you)!
What are 3 ways to promote a local business?
SEO is a great place to start if you’re looking to promote your local business. You can promote your business by creating excellent content to help you stand out from the online competition. Start by answering the questions your potential clients are asking.
Next, build quality links from other reputable websites. The more your website is linked to by other high-domain-authority sites, the more opportunities you have to rank higher (or be found through those source businesses and directories).
Lastly, audit and update any outdated listings that may include incorrect information or outdated descriptions and services. Search engines are looking for consistent and accurate information to validate who you are and what you do.
Is it worth paying for local SEO optimization?
Absolutely! local SEO optimization is an investment that should pay for itself in the form of new customers and sales.
At Bullseye Internet Marketing, we give our potential clients an estimate of exactly how many phone calls and sales they should expect to receive when they choose us for local SEO optimization. That’s how confident we are that local SEO works!
What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization helps your business rank higher (in search results) by using a strategy explicitly designed to increase your online credibility. With local SEO, you can improve the value of your website to search engines, which means more visibility, and more visits, phone calls, and sales from great potential customers!
Want to learn more about BullsEye Internet Marketing?
We were founded in 2006 to help businesses such as yours make money!! We have found that other than word of mouth, Internet Marketing is the most cost-effective way to acquire new customers, and we’re experts at figuring out the best way to promote your business online. We have more than 18 years of experience with Internet Marketing, making us pioneers in the industry. This experience enables us to help our potential clients identify and take the best route when marketing online. We are a one-stop internet marketing shop with the expertise to handle all of your Internet Marketing needs. Click on a service below to learn more.
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CEO & Founder of BullsEye Internet Marketing
Consultant & Practitioner of SEO, PPC, and all things Digital Marketing. Passionate about my industry, and I have loved helping businesses succeed for 18+ years. You can find me when I’m not working (which is not very often) at Blues, Rock, Smooth Jazz & Americana concerts.