When it comes to local businesses, there are many people who are unsure about how to proceed with SEO or search engine optimization. This is due to the fact that local SEO is slightly different to traditional and general SEO. However, it is possible to overcome any problems you have with local SEO by understanding the steps that you need to take.
Complete Keyword Research
As with general SEO, keyword research is important for local SEO. The only difference is that you will need to include the location of the business in the keyword research. This means that if you are marketing a restaurant in New York, you will have to include the city New York in the keywords you want to target.
However, it is important to note that these head term keywords will have large amounts of competition, so you will have to look at some long-tail keywords as well. You can do this with a tool that lets you analyze your competition effectively such as SEOcrawler.io so you can boost your conversions, rankings, and visibility much easier.
Long-tail keywords are phrases or keywords that have more than three words. These are generally easier to rank for, but you have to ensure that they are relevant to the local business. Fortunately, you will not have to look at using keywords that include abbreviations of the city name.
This is due to the fact that search engines have become smarter and know that someone looking for a restaurant in New York will also want results for a restaurant in NY.
Optimizing The Website and Content
One of the most valuable steps that you can take when marketing a local business with local SEO is to optimize the website and content. The content will need to be high quality and offer users valuable information. The content should also include the keywords you have already identified, but this needs to be in a natural way. If the flow of the content is hard for a person to read, the search engines will penalize the site.
When looking at the overall website, you do have to ensure that it loads quickly and that it is easy to navigate. These are all steps that you would generally take with SEO but are still important for local rankings. There is one step that is more important for local rankings that you have to consider when looking at the website.
This is the contact information on the website. It is vital that you have a contact page or contact information on every page of your website. This information needs to be correct and should include the name of the business, the physical address, a phone number for the business and another means of contact. This information will be used by the search engines to check that your business is real.
Another step that is unique to local SEO is getting citations for your business. Citations are listings of your business across the internet such as directory listings. The best place to start with getting citations is to have a Google My Business account.
A Google My Business account is free to open and gives you a major boost. However, you need to be careful when you complete the account profile as you need to optimize it correctly. Additionally, all of the information in the account will need to match the contact information on the website. If there are any differences, the search engine may deem that the account does not belong to your business.
When filling in your account, you will need to include opening hours, the physical address and contact information. You should also choose the right options when looking at the categories that the business falls into. You also need to ensure that your business is showing up on the maps as this is a great way for people to find you.
Other citations that you should look at are online business directories like Yelp. If there are any local online directories, you should also look at having your business listed there. These listings will also need to have the same information as the website.
Have Genuine Reviews
When someone searches for local businesses, Google will produce a map with the top three businesses at the start of the results. If you want to increase your chances of being in the top ranking, you need to have better reviews than your competitors. However, these have to be genuine reviews and not ones that you have bought. The search engines are wise to this tactic which they view as underhand as it is not a true reflection of the business.
To get some genuine reviews, you should ask some of your existing customers if they would be willing to write a review. It is also recommended that you include a review request in any transactions the business has with customers. This will increase the number of reviews you have which can help with your local rankings.