5 Local SEO Tricks Every Small Businesses Should Use
Search engine results are becoming a fiercely competitive space for local businesses. With ever-changing standards of SEO strategies and the increasing number of businesses vying for visibility, all small business should make local SEO a priority. Fortunately, while it will take a bit more time and some new approaches, most of your already learned SEO tactics are still in play.
Here the additional tricks to remember while trying to refine your site for local SEO:
Set Up Local Business Pages
Start by creating a local business page that accommodates for the top three search engines: Bing, Yahoo, and Google. Of course, this means you’ll take on the added tasks of managing multiple listings and dashboards, but this approach will get your business in front of an additional mass of eyes. Once you’ve set your business up on multiple search engines make sure you provide as much contact information as possible. Include information such as location, phone number, and operating hours and ensure that it is congruent with all of the information provided on your website.
Optimize and Categorize Your Page
Start to optimize your local pages by uploading photos that reflect your business in detail, list the services you offer and show when you’ll be operating. Then, move on to categorizing your page. Having a business page that is correctly categorized will be a huge factor in optimizing your site for local search. Categorizing your business will help search engines to understand what it is your business does. If your business isn’t categorized or miscategorized, search engines will count them out and won’t display them in local search results. Make sure that you include up to 5 categories (and at minimum two) to help define what your business is all about.
Include Your Business Citations
Having consistent contact information for your business is crucial. You never want to have your customers get confused with the information that is on your site versus the information that shows up on a search engine or review site. Again, make sure all of your information (name, address, phone number) is available and consistent on every listing. If you find that your business has already been listed by someone else, claim the listing, or citation, so that you can update your information when necessary. You don’t want to rely on a reviewer or customer to do this.
Before you claim a citation that has been created, make sure that it wasn’t created by a business in the area that goes by the same name. Once you’ve sorted this out, you’ll have to verify that you’re the actual owner of the business that as been listed. Sites like Yext and Localeze can help you to discover where your company’s local listings are online, help you to create citations and make their information consistent. Additionally, Google MapMaker can be used to help you find duplicate listings.
Optimize Your Search Engine Results With Good Reviews
Positive online reviews will be imperative to winning over search engine ranking systems. Similarly, reviews that reflect well on your company for consumers will be key. Consumers use search engine reviews as a filter for the links that they click on. Consider how many times you’ve overlooked a business solely based on the superficial star rankings on a search engine result. It’s possible that if you dug into the review you’d find only one user behind the star ranking, yet the singular review could be enough to influence your decision.
If you’re feeling wary about how reviews are affecting your search engine ranking, you’re in luck. There are multiple ways to improve and influence the number of positive reviews you receive. Just know that creating fake reviews or offering rewards to those in exchange for them can be bad for business if consumers find out. Instead, aim to obtain honest reviews from patrons. Start by creating a link on your web page that circles back to a review site like Yelp. Encourage your customers to create a review or post about your business after they’ve made a purchase or reported a positive experience. Worse case scenario, you receive a bad review and learn more about your business from their feedback.
Include Accurate Photos
This gets its own category because of the cruciality behind transparency between your business and its visitors. In today’s information age, patrons are used to having access to information that helps them understand where their money is going. Adding photos can give potential customers a solid idea of what it is you have to offer. Think about how many times you’ve looked into a restaurant and headed over to their Yelp page to find information as well as pictures. Likely you used the pictures to decide if the photos of the atmosphere and food met your desires.
Give your customers a feel for your business by uploading as many photos that depict it both accurately and in the best light. Provide images of the outside of your business as well. An image of the building can help customers when they try to locate where you are. Most search engines like Google+ Local will allow you to include 10 pictures at the minimum. Do your best to provide that many at least.