If you’re a brick and mortar business or even an online business that serves customers in your local area, local SEO is extremely important. Your web designer should be familiar with local SEO practices. These local SEO tips will help you and your designer create a valuable tool for your business.
1. List your business on every reputable listing service you can find.
One of the most important local SEO tips I can give you is this. When a potential client is looking for a service provider, a restaurant, or any business for that matter, they turn to services like Google, Yelp, Zomato, Manta, or AngiesList. It is extremely important that your business takes advantage of these free listing services to ensure you are visible to more potential customers. The most important of all is Google My Business. Yes, all these other websites are important but Google is king these days and optimizing your Google listing will go a long way for your local SEO efforts.
Google My Business allows you to provide all the information a potential client needs to find you or work with you. Once you “claim” your business listing, you can edit the phone number, add your website, add business hours, add the services you provide, and much more. Google gives you the power to fully inform someone quickly about your business and how you can help them. The other listing services work in a similar fashion but Google My Business is the most important and most intuitive of all these websites.
2. Pay attention to customer reviews and take them seriously.
Even if you don’t claim your listings, customers can still leave reviews about your business. The downside to this is, you can’t respond to them and handle them in a professional manner. As a business owner, you should watch your reviews and respond to them whether they are positive or negative. If you receive a positive review, thank your customer for their business and invite them to come back or use your service again. If you receive a negative review, apologize for the inconvenience, listen closely to what your customer said, and respond in a professional manner. Make the customer feel like you’re going to do everything in your power to make them happy. This practice could turn an unhappy customer in to a returning customer if executed properly. This isn’t just a part of our local SEO tips, this is a basic customer service rule.
Maintaining good customer service on Google, Yelp, and other platforms has a direct effect on your search engine rankings. Google keeps track of your reviews and will boost your business up in ranks if you have good reviews. After all, Google is in the business of satisfying their customers, too. On the other side of this, it has been reported that 93% of people claim that customer reviews impact their purchasing decisions. (SOURCE) Keep your reviews positive, and more people will be inclined to do business with you.
3. Create SEO optimized content for your customers
Creating a blog for your company is a surefire way to boost local SEO. Search engines and customers eat up quality content. Talk to your web designer or someone in charge of marketing to set up a content strategy for your website. It used to be that you would fill your content with high level keywords but this isn’t the case anymore. Your content should be useful and resourceful to your customers. Putting keywords in your content does matter but not as much as it used to several years ago. If you run a restaurant, maybe some content about where your food comes from or how to decide on what dish to order would be useful. If you sprinkle in some keywords, create quality content, and help your site visitors, you’re on your way to SEO success.
4. Build a strong social media presence.
Creating a strong social media presence is imperative to building local SEO. Make sure your business is active on any social network that would benefit you. Facebook and LinkedIn are the basics but get active on Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and any other platform you want. Many times, there are discussions going on about your brand on these sites, especially Facebook. You want to be involved in that discussion and keep up with what’s being talked about. Social media presence coincides directly with SEO rankings. Google’s algorithms know if your business is active on social media and will rank your website accordingly.
Talk to your web designer about building a strong social media presence so your business can take off in the Google rankings. Your designer or any marketing specialist in their firm should know the basics of utilizing social media. Be sure that your website has clear links to your profiles. You also want to be sure that all that useful content you created can be easily shared on all the major networks as well.
5. Be sure your website is mobile responsive
I made this number 5 because we already talked about this tip in our article about the importance of mobile responsive websites. I decided to include this in our local SEO tips because of its importance. Over 90% of global web traffic comes from mobile devices. In 2015, Google began to penalize websites that weren’t mobile friendly by ranking them lower in searches. Be sure that your website designer creates your website with a mobile first approach and you’ll be golden.
Follow these simple local SEO tips and your website will be a valuable resource to you and your customers. You will see business increase and more happy and informed customers. Noctem Media is aware of these local SEO strategies and others. If you’re looking to build a resourceful website for your business and your customers, schedule a free consultation today!