The best time to start doing local SEO for your business was yesterday. The second best time is today!
Local SEO can be a wild beast. There are many tactics from beginner to advanced when it comes to ranking your business.
However, we were thinking recently about easy to implement tactics that any business can do right away, even those who are new to SEO.
For small businesses, here are some local SEO tips we thought of that you can perform in less than a day:
- Claim and optimize your Google My Business page.
- Add your business to citations such as Facebook, Yelp, Bing, and Yahoo too.
- Utilize posts on your Google My Business page.
- Add media such as photos and videos to each page on your website.
- Improve your website’s page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs.
- Use internal links on every page.
- Obtain reviews and streamline review generation.
If you do these 7 things, you can expect your local online visibility to increase over the next few months.
We’re going to share with you what we’ve found and experimented with, then break it down in helpful tips.
Tip #1 – Claim Your Google My Business Page
This is one of the most important local SEO tips you can do, and it’s completely free. We mentioned this step in our article about getting more customers to your local restaurant.
Create a Google My Business Page and start entering your business information. Accurately put in your name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and business category.
Add at least 9 – 12 photos. Upload three images of the inside of your business, three of the outside, three of your services or products, and optionally three of your team.
Write a description of your business as well. Don’t think too hard about this! Just talk about the history of your business, your values, and what you offer to your local community.
Be sure to also add your website to your Google My Business page!
Tip #2 – Add You Business To Other Key Networks
Google isn’t the only website your small business should be listed on. Facebook, Yelp, Bing, and Yahoo all allow you to add your NAPW to their websites.
NAPW stands for name, address, phone number, and website. You want to get your business listed in as many NAPW directories as possible, and the four we mentioned above are very good at increasing your business visibility.
Facebook allows you to create a business page that gives you the chance to connect with your customers. Yelp, Bing, and Yahoo all serve as strong authoritative directories that people use every day to find services.
These platforms can gather their own reviews that will then show up across different search results. Once again, consistency is key, your information should remain the same across all of these platforms.
Start with these, but continue to get listed on NAPW websites as often as possible. All of the well known businesses are on these websites, yours should be too!
Tip #3 – Utilize Google Posts on Your Google My Business Page
There’s an often overlooked feature on your Google listing called Google Posts. It may just be because many businesses don’t know about it, or because it just went live a little over a year ago.
Google Posts allows you to post an update, special offer, or promotion over a period of time. The post is then shown to everyone who ends up finding your Google My Business page. (which if optimized properly will be a good number of people)
For example, you can add an image of a coupon, and offer 10% off for any customer who shows you that coupon within the next seven days at your business. Posts also allow you to add buttons such as “Get Offer” and “Learn More.”
It’s best to use images that are 750 x 750 dimensions, and keep your posts to roughly 80 – 100 words or so. Post often, and don’t be afraid to have multiple posts running at one time.
Posts are great for prompting users to book an appointment, obtain an offer, buy now, sign up, attend your event, and more! Definitely go set one up right now!
Tip #4 – Add Multimedia To Each Page On Your Website
Featuring photos or videos on each page of your website is important to local SEO. They help to provide a better user experience for your website, and as a result, help your visibility in search engines.
Take a look at each page on your website and make sure there are relevant images featured. It’s good to have about 2 – 3 images that represent the page’s topic. Try to get the highest quality images possible.
Adding a video makes your pages even better, however, not everyone readily has a video of their business / subject, or may no be able to invest in videography services.
Luckily, you are able to find and embed a YouTube video onto your website. Search for a video that is related to your page’s subject, and you are able to obtain the embed code to place it on your page.
If embedding is disabled, try finding another video. It’s important to disable the “Show suggested videos when the video finishes” option. This way your visitors won’t be tempted to watch more videos and and will stay on your website when the video is over!
Tip #5 – Improve Your Website’s Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and URLs
Page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs are what show up in a search engine’s results when you perform a search.
Preferably, you want to feature your keyword, location, and business name in your titles. Let’s say you have a service page set up for “fishing gear,” you’re located in “Kansas City,” and your name is “Ace Outdoor Supply”.
- Your Title Would Say: “High Performance Fishing Gear in Kansas City – Ace Outdoor Supply”
The URL can be a bit more complicated. How you should structure your URLs depends heavily on your site hierarchy. Either way you want to feature the keyword in your URL too. Structure your URL like one of the examples below:
Your meta description is just a brief ~160 character description of your page. When you write this, use your keyword, location, and include other qualifiers such as easy, simple, or quick.
- “Explore the highest quality fishing supplies in Kansas City. Ace Outdoor Supply offers a wide selection of rods, lures, bait, and more. Order online today.”
Be enticing when it comes to the way your website appears in the Google results. This will increase your click through rate, and give you a nice rankings boost over time.
Tip #6 – Use Internal Linking On All Of Your Website’s Pages
When it comes to SEO, there’s a thing called Page Rank that you should know about. Page Rank is an algorithm used by Google Search that ranks the importance of pages on a website.
Linking from one page to another on the same website not only passes the value from Page Rank to other pages on the website, but it also sets up a good site architecture for search engines, and visitors to follow.
It’s good when a user can easily navigate through your website without thinking about it! Use about 2 – 3 links on every page, and try to make it to where not a single page on your website is more than 2 clicks away if possible.
Sub pages on your website may rank well on their own, so try to link back to the home page from every other page using a variety of anchor texts.
If you don’t know, anchor text is the text that the link is made of. For instance, here is a link to our home page: Tekkii – We Speak Web The anchor text is “Tekkii – We Speak Web” in this case.
Feel free to use closely related keywords to your main service as well. For us that would be “Tekkii Lenexa Web Design” or something similar.
If you are using WordPress. The Yoast SEO plugin makes this easy and is completely free!
Tip #7 – Obtain Reviews & Streamline Review Generation
Reviews are extremely important when it comes to local SEO. Your online reputation is a major factor in how many customers you could attract online.
As a result, you want to have your reviews front and center on platforms such as Google, Facebook Yelp, BBB.org, and other popular platforms.
When someone finds you in the local map pack on Google, one of the first things they’ll see are your reviews, and those 1 – 5 gold stars. Your reviews are one of the biggest factors when it comes to click through rate to your business.
If Jasper’s Heating & Cooling has four 5 star reviews, but Mickelson’s Heating & Cooling has over one hundred reviews and a rating of 4.8 / 5. Which would you check out first?
Getting reviews, especially for Google, is not very hard. You can use websites like Pleper to generate a handy link that you can then email to your past customers with a nice message.
Upon clicking the link, they will be directed to Google where they can write their review and rate you.
Other ideas include creating handout cards, putting the Google or Yelp logos on the entrance to your business, and adding links to review your business on your website.
Of course we’re just scratching the service when it comes to streamlining review generation. Go ahead and generate a link with Pleper by clicking here. I’m sure there’s someone who can get you a nice 5 star review right now!
Reviews and your online reputation are critically important to your SEO campaign, and you should be trying to obtain them on a regular basis.
What Can You Expect From These Local SEO Tips?
You can perform all seven of these local SEO tips to some degree in less than a day. However, this doesn’t mean that you should expect to see results that fast!
SEO is an investment and a process that should be executed consistently over time. You should be constantly employing other SEO tactics to your website in addition to what we mentioned above.
By doing these seven things above, you can be sure that search engines will view your business more favorably online, and be more likely to show it to people in their respective searches.
While there is no guarantee or definitive answer, expect to see increased visibility for your business in roughly 3 – 6 months.
Extra Tip – Keep Your Local SEO Fresh
Don’t just set it and forget it! Keep optimizing and improving your website by adding new content, and tweaking your page to meet user expectations.
Additionally, continually post new images and offers to your Google My Business page and social media. Leverage your social media to connect with your community, and continue to get feedback from your customers via reviews.
We hope this helps you get started with local SEO for your business and I wish you the best on your business’ online journey.
So, which of these local SEO tips will you try first?