SEO is one of the most important marketing strategies for businesses to utilize to ensure they are getting seen and found on the web by potential customers. We’ve compiled advice from local experts in the field of digital marketing and created 9 tips to help boost SEO for local businesses.
Reviews are an effective way to help boost local SEO by providing user generated content that also works to help build trust and credibility with potential customers. In addition, it is important to respond to both positive and negative reviews. The advantages of this strategy are twofold- You showcase your customer service skills and help resolve any issues an unhappy customer may have but also, responding to reviews provides fresh updated content which Google favors.
- Use directories
Daniel Foley, CEO of Daniel Foley SEO suggests using online business directories to your advantage. Foley says “Websites like Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, and YellowPages, to name a few, are examples of online business directories. There are numerous others. Not only will having your company name, address, and phone number listed in these directories help with visibility, but it will also help with local SEO.
The following elements should be included in your company listing:
- Accurate business name, address, and phone number consistent across all directories
- a link back to your site
- a detailed overview of your company”
Abhishek Kumar of Content Ninja shares “Because these directories rank very well on Google search, having a profile there is helpful.”
Matt Thomason of The Witney SEO Guy advises “Get your website listed on as many high quality business directories as possible. Google is intelligent enough to know how your business is represented across the web, so start getting your business out there and confirming your locale to Google.”
- Setup your Google My Business listing
Chris Hinchey of Shiny Creative says “Having a fully completed GMB profile is especially useful for ultra-local businesses who serve their immediate community. A well sorted GMB profile will help your business be found when people search.” Tony DeRoia of Witmer Group adds “Google looks at it from this viewpoint: The more information you add to your GMB profile, the more informed decision a prospective customer or client can make.”
Warren Jenkin of Blue Cabin SEO suggests “Professionally set up your ‘Google My Business’ – Why? Because doing so will not only be adding value for their customers (operating time, address, etc.) but this is sure to make Google aware of their existence.” Will Thomas of Yodu agrees “This is extremely important as it will help you rank in the local listings and map view previews that Google shows for local searches.”
Umarah Hussain of Surge Marketing Solutions says “By creating a Google My Business listing, businesses can provide up to date information, include hours of work, add reviews, respond to customer reviews and publish posts to keep the audience informed.” Additionally, Rahul Gulati of GyanDevign Tech Services says “If you are not doing effective Google search marketing, your competitors are stealing your business and eating your pie.”
When asked why Google My Business is an effective tool to help boost your local SEO Joel Whipple of All Points Digital says “Search starts on Google and your GMB listing allows you to showcase your services, products, business information and more. In the last few years, Google has repeatedly improved the functions a business can control via their GMB listing, so we believe this is an important driver of SEO rankings.”
Mike Lewis of Active Web Group advises “Google My Business literally puts you on the map – Google’s Map. It enables you to appear on Google Maps searches, showcase customer reviews, share important updates with your customers and improve your existing search rankings. Oh, you also gain access to free Google Ads listings.” Eddie Sifonte of
Evok Advertising adds “It is free to create and should always be the very first step of any local business’s marketing plan.”
Leah Moody of Argon Agency says “Google My Business has a feature that allows businesses to post updates regularly, pictures of their business and even offers. If small local businesses post pictures of their products/services and write descriptions along with the post that has keywords their client may be searching for they can come up in search results much more frequently.”
- Acquire backlinks
Daniel Foley, CEO of Daniel Foley SEO says “Backlinks pointing to your site are known as connection signals. It’s critical to obtain links in order to improve your local SEO, but the nature of those links is also critical.
Here are a few pointers on how to obtain high-quality backlinks:
- Create high-quality content for your website so that people may want to connect to it.
- Blog on respectable blogs with a high domain authority as a guest blogger.
- To get local influencers to connect back to you, engage with them on social media or via email.”
Jessica Rhoades of Create IT Web Designs suggests “I recommend most businesses beginning SEO work to start guest posting to get backlinks. Most businesses have not worked on boosting their domain rating so they sit at the bottom of the local search.”
Eduardo Cifre of Digitadu recommends getting backlinks from authoritative blogs and press websites in the industry and geographic location. “For instance, a restaurant in London benefits substantially more from a reputable food blog in London than a blog in Manchester.”
Rob Coleman of Hennessey Digital says “There are several ways to get local organizations to link to your website, such as involvement in charities, supporting your school’s clubs, sports teams or marching bands, sponsoring youth sports leagues, have a volunteer day with your staff, and becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau. Inbound links from local organizations with reputable websites will signal to Google that you are a legitimate and reputable company yourself.”
- Keep your information consistent
Andrew Carruthers of Chatter Digital says “Local NAP (name, address, phone number) citations is an essential local SEO strategy for business owners. This information needs to be consistent across all citations for it to work effectively with search engines and for the right websites to be used. It helps search engines determine the legitimacy of the business and to rank the business organically for geo-targeted searches.”
- Hire a professional
Hinchey advises “SEO is a really complex beast and to be done properly costs money. If you run a small business, or are after instant results, SEO might not be the best way forward for you. If you speak to an SEO, they should be really inquisitive about your business, rather than simply trying to sell you their service. If an SEO sounds salesy, they probably aren’t very good.”
David Zimmerman of Reliable Acorn LLC says “The power of any web marketing is that you should be able to know exactly how your marketing effort is paying off. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you. Make sure they can quantify exactly how many customers came from your SEO efforts.”
Rad Paluszak of Suso Digital suggests to “Have clear goals, financial expectations and be able to quantify the results over time. An example here would be how you set your goals. It’s quite easy to say I want to rank for a keyword X. A much better set goal is I want to receive at least 10 leads in 3 months of my SEO or I’d like to get at least 5 bookings a week within the first 3 months of the SEO campaign.”
- Optimize your site for keywords
Jenny from SEO with Jenny says “Long-tail keywords or queries drive about 70% traffic to blogs and websites and long-tail queries are exactly what people who want to buy a product or use your service type in.”
Charlie Worrall of Imaginaire advises “While it’s great to try and target the bigger local keywords, the smaller, more qualified phrases are often a great way to pick up more traffic and convert users into sales. This is due to the fact that the longtail, local keywords are much more qualified which means that the people searching for langer phrases are often after something specific, if you offer that, it’s perfect.”
Kent Lewis of Anvil Media Inc. says “Create location pages on your website. If you have multiple locations, show Google you’re committed to each location with dedicated content, beyond name, address and phone number. Include directions, services, amenities and localized content. This is especially essential for retailer chains, hotels and restaurants.”
Matt Calik of Delante SEO/SEM Agency shares “The most crucial thing that can significantly increase the SEO results of local businesses is focusing the optimization on the local long-tail keywords. Make the keyword you optimize for as precise as possible and include local parts (e.g. hairdresser for kids near London, male hairdresser Warsaw, etc.) to reach a more targeted and convertible audience.”
- Update content regularly
Gee Ranasinha of Kexino suggests “Update your Google My Business listing’s content and photos on a regular basis- 1-2 times a month is fine.”
- Build out landing pages
Brogan Renshaw of Firewire Digital says “Local landing pages are pages you create on your website to show your business services in multiple specific geographic regions. These types of pages are most appropriate for service area businesses e.g a Plumber or Multi-location brick-and-mortar businesses e.g a Coffee Shop chain. Renshaw cautions “Don’t go overboard on the number of landing pages though. We all should know by now that Google doesn’t like spammy content. So unless you service an area or have a physical presence in the location don’t make a local landing page for it.”
Tihana Drumev of Best Response Media cautions “It’s especially important now, during the pandemic where the opening hours change. Take care of your COVID updates, it’s really important as people rely on it. You want your customers to return, not to forget you.”
In conclusions, SEO is one of the most important marketing strategies for marketing agencies to be utilizing for their clients to ensure they are getting seen and found on the web by potential customers.