As a great business owner, you know you need local SEO. But perhaps you’re unsure with what exactly it means, and how in the world to get started. GiraffeBuilder is here to help.
Local SEO is specific optimization for your local business, whether you have one location or multiple. Any brick-and-mortar business that customers visit, or even an online business that caters to a specific area can take advantage of local SEO.
For most industries, it may be impossible to rank for your own main keyword. A large, established company will likely edge you out. Trust us, you’ll never be able to out-SEO Starbucks, Nordstrom, or McDonalds. That’s where local SEO comes in. Google has been placing more and more focus on local businesses, and seem to genuinely enjoy helping them out. While you probably can’t rank on the first page nationwide for “coffee shop,” you could conquer the web with “coffee shop Sherman Oaks.”
If your site isn’t optimized for these local searches, you’re in trouble. As more searches happen on mobile, users are looking for your business’s phone number, address, hours, and more while they’re on the go. You need to make sure that information is accurate and easy to find.
So how do you get started? Follow these steps to become a local SEO pro.
1. Google Business Page
The first step in any local SEO campaign is to claim or create a Google business page. Your Google business account should include:
- A description of your business that includes keywords and links relating to your line of work.
- Categories selected that are the most relevant to your business
- Photographs of your business
- The local telephone number of your business
- The address of your business, consistent with your website’s address
- A profile picture and cover image
- Hours of operation
Link your Google business account to a Google + page that can be updated frequently. Post similarly content as you would on Facebook, just do it regularly, and announce updates like closing for the holidays or adding a new location. A Google business page also allows customers to leave reviews, which is extremely important for SEO (more on that later).
2. Optimize Your Site
Take advantage of title tags, URLs, and footers to list your address and location specific keywords. Remember, Google does not rank sites, they rank individual pages. Each of your locations should have a page, and those should have specifics like CodeCoffee.com/Danville , Danville Coffee Shop | Code Coffee. Put your NAP – Name, Address, Phone Number, on your website in a highly visible area (menu, header or footer). And if you have just one location, make sure your NAP is on every page. Also, place a Google map on your page that allows people to navigate to your business from their location. Besides boosting your search rank, it is a helpful service to the user.
3. Ask for Reviews
Business reviews directly impact how successful your business listing will rank in local search results, so acquiring them is an initiative you will want to work on. These can be on Google, Yelp, or any other online directories. Reach out to customers and ask for a review with an offer of an incentive. A 10% off coupon can be enough to get people to leave a review. Reply to reviews when necessary to develop a relationship with your customers.
Local SEO doesn’t have to be scary, but it is important. Contact our office for a consultation on your business’s SEO, local and not. GiraffeBuilder would love to help your company thrive.