Having strong local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means your business will be found online when customers search in Google or other search engines. This can have a positive impact on your website traffic and sales, but it can also be challenging to implement effectively. These seven tips will help you improve your local SEO so that you’re more likely to be found by the people in your area who are looking for the products or services you offer.
1) Claim your Google My Business page
If you don’t already have a Google My Business page, do it now. You’ll then be able to claim your page and start adding all sorts of information about your business that will help it rank in local search results. Include your company name, address, website address, hours of operation, phone number and any other pertinent information you think customers might want or need to know before visiting your store.
2) Add at least 10 new business photos
Adding more photos and/or videos to your website is a quick way to improve your site’s overall appearance. Use photo-editing software like Photoshop or AfterShot Pro, or simply download a free image editor such as Pixlr. In order for your Google Places listing to rank higher in search results, make sure that at least 10 of your images are high-quality, high-resolution images with minimum dimensions of 496 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall.
3) Use Reviews Strategically
It can be tempting to place all your energy into having a lot of reviews. But it’s equally important to choose where you seek reviews strategically. Think about which sites and channels will help you get in front of customers who are likely going to be most interested in your business, and use those avenues first. If there are particular review sites or sources that have been successful for your competitors, try channeling some efforts toward those as well.
4) Get listed on as many directories as possible
Google and other search engines are crawling millions of local listings from all over. Make sure your small business is registered on directories such as Manta, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, SuperPages, and dozens more. You don’t have to be listed on every directory out there, but make sure you are at least listed in a few places where potential customers are likely to find you.
5) Choose the right category
In Google Maps, click on listing at top-right of any page and select edit info. Then click on category. Don’t put yourself in a little box—be as specific as possible. Hint: don’t simply choose a generic category like pizza place, but instead specify that your restaurant serves Chicago-style deep dish pizza or some other niche focus.
6) Add consistent, high-quality content to your website
One of Google’s ranking factors is freshness. If your site contains content that isn’t constantly updated, it will likely rank lower than sites with more consistent content. The best way to be sure you’re updating consistently is by adding at least one new piece of high-quality content each day.
7) Work with local journalists and bloggers
If you have a special product or service, consider getting coverage from local print and online media. Here’s how: Find out which newspapers and magazines serve your community. Call their business desks and explain why they should write about you. Send them relevant news releases and follow up with a phone call every few weeks. Consider paying for a half-page ad in their publication.
Optimizing your local SEO is vital if you want to rank highly on local search results. There are many ways you can do so and we’ve covered a few in today’s post. We hope you found these tips useful and can take them and implement them into your own local optimization strategy. Happy optimizing! 🙂