Local SEO and Your Business
A solid local SEO (search engine optimization) strategy might be your missing ingredient when it comes driving more leads and growing your business.
Local SEO is the strategy and process of optimizing sites and pages with the intent of appearing in organic search results from people seeking out local information.
By optimizing your web presence, you are giving your local business a chance to experience widespread, organic visibility within search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
The best part?
The consumers behind those searches are the most highly qualified potential leads you will ever hear from. Why? They are already looking for what you offer.
Let’s breakdown what you need to know about local SEO for your small to medium sized business.
The Basics of SEO
A successful SEO strategy includes a combination of:
- content creation, authoritative + subject-specific pages
- in-page optimization (structure for search engine consumption)
- off-page optimization (citations and trusted links)
- analysis + research (what is working / what needs more work)
The truth is that achieving competitive SEO is neither basic nor simple, and it is always a moving target.
While some information is disclosed, nobody knows exactly what search engines are looking for day to day. What we do know is that extensive analysis, quality content and recognition of that content lead to long-term results.
Local SEO Keyword Research
Once you have a website set up with all the fundamentals in place, your next step is keyword research.
In a way, this is the most important part. You need to take the time to find out exactly what your potential customers are searching for before you can begin trying to rank for those searches.
You can begin by using general knowledge to compile a “common sense” list of terms that relate to your business and the issues you solve. For local SEO, you’ll want to add specific towns and counties to your keyword targets.
For example, if you run a coffee shop, instead of choosing the keyword target “best dark roast”, you’ll instead use “best dark roast in austin texas”.
Content is King
The content within your website including service pages, blog posts, etc are where your keyword research begins to take action. Honestly, we cannot recommend an investment in good content enough; competitive SEO is content driven.
The way search engines identify what your website is about is by ‘crawling’ and seeing keyword consistencies in your pages, especially those that match consumer searches.
Equally important, we recommend highly useful, unique, subject-focused content for every page on your site! You want users to appreciate your content enough to react.
Reactions like sharing, bookmarking or links serve as signals to search engines that users are having a positive experience. We recommend the careful addition of images as well as video embed, a sure-fire way to support more and better indexing.
The goal is to create content with the intention of helping the reader while also making it as easy as possible for search engine algorithms to understand what it is about and where they should place it.
This is where a lot of people get tripped up. You cannot control who links to your pages, and you should never try to manufacture links!
Only highly trusted links matter. Sure, it’s good to accumulate links to your website from outside sources like directory listings, social media accounts, other websites & blogs, BUT ONLY so long as the links are from sites that have trust!
Is a random blog trusted? Maybe, maybe not. Is a directory listing or an official association website trusted? It’s likely!
Something many people don’t seem to know is that linking to different pages in our own websites is a good practice. Good, so long as it’s done to improve user experience. It can tell a search engine that pages you have linked add value for users. And adding the links in descriptive text only supports.
You should certainly add links back to your pages from all of your social network accounts. Your Google listings also offer posting – definitely a quality source for back-links!
Reviews Are Your Competitive Advantage
Having numerous positive reviews show up alongside your business in search results is invaluable. For many searchers, you will have an immediate sense of authority and trust.
Your plan in place to increase reviews should include the following:
- identify satisfied clients and ask for their reviews
- plan to help them when necessary, possibly with instructions
- send follow up requests
- setup alerts for all reviews in order to be informed
- get informed on dealing with any negative reviews
You Cannot Grow What You Do Not Measure
Once you begin implementing your local SEO strategy, you will need to track and analyze your results!
Through this consistent process, you will be able to see what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust as necessary.
Your SEO analysis plan should consist of the following:
- setup reliable keywords ranking software, analyze
- setup website traffic and search analytics software, analyze
- setup off- website traffic and search analytics software, analyze
- report on successes, report on action items where needed for improvement
- have a plan for updating under-performing keywords and pages
Is Local SEO worth your time?
SEO is a time-intensive process that is not only worth the effort, it is a necessity if you plan on competing in the digital marketing world.
Local SEO success requires the pursuit of a seemingly endless number of paths needed to connect a prospective lead and the appealing local answer to a search.
At Kinetic Knowledge, we have helped hundreds of local businesses increase traffic, visibility, and leads through our Fundamental SEO services.
If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of a solid, well-executed local SEO strategy but don’t have the time or desire to learn and implement these practices, contact us today to find out how we can help!