We all know that small business owners face immense challenges every single day. While many are solved with relative ease, solving the issue of generating traffic – both online and in person is unfortunately looked over time and time again. Optimizing your website for local SEO is the first step towards achieving the traffic that you deserve.
The Benefits of Optimized Local SEO for Small Businesses
Physical businesses that have actual storefronts that still haven’t optimized their local SEO are perilously close to several threats. But those businesses that have taken ownership of their local SEO and relevant platforms already find themselves on the front foot with these vital benefits:
- Improved visibility in online search results
- Superior and more relevant traffic
- Able to build meaningful relationships with local customers
- Foster trust with the community
- Overall increase in sales
5 Time-Saving Local SEO Strategies to Enhance Your Business
Website optimization and local SEO can seem daunting and even worse – time consuming. However, we provide 5 time-saving strategies that will enable you to enhance your online presence while empowering you to continue with the day-to-day tasks as a business owner.
1. Optimize Your Website
Many small businesses handicap themselves right from the start by building a website that is poor quality and not optimized to rank well on the search engines. To avoid missing out on prospective customers you need to pay attention to the overall design and layout of your website. Make sure your website ticks all the boxes below.
- Easy to navigate
- Consistent theme and message
- A detailed About Us page
- Use of local keywords
- Mobile Responsive
- Ensure all relevant business information is available
- Use of a specific location
These are all vital components that can immediately improve the online presence of your business and its standing on the search engines like Google, Yahoo & Bing.
2. Create a My Google Business Account
As of August 2021, Google was named as the most popular search engine with a total market share of 92.03%. This incredible number indicates just how important it is for your business to rank highly in Google’s local search results. To get one step closer to improving your local SEO, create a Google My Business account and claim your business.
Like its other services, Google My Business is easy to set up and manage all the intricacies of your online presence. Take your time and provide correct details and information. This includes:
- Business name, logo, and other identification
- Correct business category
- Contact information
- Business location
- Operating hours
- Other essential information that will help prospective customers find your business
Continue to keep your Google My Business page updated by posting regular articles and other content.
3. Sign Up to Online Business Directories
Creating a Google My Business account may seem like that’s the last thing you need to do, but signing up to relevant, local business directories will improve your local SEO even further. Business directories are readily available regardless of your operating location.
Leading names in the business directory community have been led by Yellow Pages, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. We certainly recommend signing up to FREE account for each of these directories to further improve local SEO but there’s another directory to consider.
NextDoor is a prime example of a directory that’s incredibly relevant to your physical location. A key factor that differentiates NextDoor from its competitors is that when you post any form of content such as an article or image, that content automatically appears in the feed of anyone who is within 2 miles of your business. Such a feature will help connect your business with a relevant, local audience and lay the foundation on which to nurture future relationships.
4. Ask for Reviews – and Respond to Them
The pursuit of building trust and authority is something that all businesses attempt to attain. For a small business however, trust and authority are influential in determining whether that business will achieve long-term success.
Reviews in this instance function as a form of testimonial to your business. So why would you not ask for them? Asking for a review is the first step of engagement post-sale and cements your business in the mind of your customer – making it easier to receive another sale in the future.
Positive or negative, you must always respond to reviews in a professional and friendly manner. Prospective customers can make a buying decision based solely on a positive review. But if you’ve resolved an issue, it indicates to prospective customers that your business is willing to go above and beyond to rectify any potential issues.
5. Connect All Social Media Platforms
The popularity of social media platforms has surged each year with millions of people joining platforms from Facebook to Tiktok. Each of these platforms represent another opportunity to build your presence online and improve your local SEO but NOT every platform may be right for your specific business. To learn which Social Media platforms are best for your business, click here to schedule a 30-min Discovery Session.
Your business and target audience will typically determine your choice of social media platform/s as some offer better chances at connecting with prospective customers. With the choice of platform/s made, ensure that all details and vital information is correct (similar to Google My Business).
Having inserted your details successfully, you can’t let your social media platforms lie dormant – it’s called social media for a reason! You must post regularly and engage with your audience! Create a posting schedule of stipulated content and maintain it. Your audience will begin to become more familiar with how your business operates and in turn, are more likely to engage with you.
Treat your social media platforms as an extension of your website. Just like your website, they should send a clear message that’s closely aligned with your values and how your business may benefit them.
Traditional SEO strategies have dominated the online landscape with larger corporations trying to establish themselves as the ‘go-to’ business within their industry. But local SEO has grown in importance and stature to such a point that it can truly elevate the efforts of a small business.
Continue to work on your local SEO and website optimization when you have the time to do so. Regularly update your information and post content that is relevant to your location and community. Local SEO will always remain a marathon, make sure that your business is in it for the long run.
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Charles Musselwhite is an author, speaker and co-owner of Musselwhite Marketing (est 2009) along with his wife Linda Musselwhite. Together they are “CaLM” (Charles and Linda M). Charles is an Ontraport Certified Expert and a previous DigitalMarketer Certified Partner holding several DM certifications.