5 excellent SEO strategies to dominate Local search rankings
It is common that small local business owners often feel intimidated by search engine optimization because they feel like they don’t stand a chance to get on the first page of Google when there are larger companies that are paying top dollar agencies to work on this every day for them. The truth is that many small businesses just don’t have a clue where to begin when it comes to local SEO. Although this can be an overwhelming task, there is a way to capitalize on local SEO even if you are only a small business and in this article we are going to share some of the best strategies in order to help make that happen for you.
1 – Keep your Business information in check
What we mean by this is to keep everything consistent across the board for your business as far as hours of operation, physical address, descriptions, specials, phone number, coupons, services, pricing, ect… Whether you are promoting your business across your website, social media, directories, blogs, etc…the information that you are presenting should be relevant to your business and consistent through each venue. This is going to help you build a brand based on accuracy and it will show your potential customers that you take proper care of your business.
2 – Create engaging content
One of the most important things that you will always need to consider is that you need to be able to create very engaging and consistent content. If you are also looking to tackle the local search you must also make sure that your content is geared towards local audiences in order to get the most out of your local SEO efforts. This is an essential part of SEO and your business should be publishing new material at least 3 to 5 times per week on a variety of social media networks and blogs in order to see the best results. You should test out to see when the best time is to post your content on these platforms and once you figure this out, post consistently at the same time to train your customers to expect your content/posts at those times. It should not take you more than one hour a day to come up with one or two hundred words of content.
3 – Inbound marketing is the key to success in SEO
Simply creating content is not enough; you need to make sure that the content you create will help people and in some way provide value to them. The best way to promote your business is modern times is not to try to sell your product through your posts. The best method is to give people tips, advice, and actionable steps on things that are related to the products or services you sell. The more value that you can deliver to your customers, the more they will begin to see you as the “Expert” in your field. Your readers will think of you when they are looking for the service or product your business has to offer. For example, if you are a web designer, you could write a post about 3 simple tips that can help business owners capture more leads on their websites. That is what inbound, also known as content marketing is truly about. You may wonder, well if I am giving all of my good tips and advice up to everyone then they are just going to go do it them selves. By providing them with just pieces of the puzzle and allowing them to see a positive effect on their efforts, this will build your credibility and soon these people will be looking for more from your business and this is where your services and products become the only answer to your customers problems.
4 – Always include local keywords
If you are aiming for a local audience, you should always talk about something that is related to your location in order to ensure that your SEO efforts are worth the time on each post without it looking unnatural. This is also going to help you tremendously to be found on different organic searches. For example if you are a landscaping company located in Madison, WI; You should include on both your website and your content/posts that you are the premier landscaping company in Madison, WI. This will help you to get ranked for local searches much faster than not giving your location your business operates. The reason for this is Google attempts to give searchers the most relevant information to them and takes into account the searchers location.
5 – Submit your business to relevant listings
There are thousands of active listings online and you should at the very least have your business listed in 10 of them. Make sure that you do your research on which listings are the most popular in your area. Most of those services are 100% free but if you have the money for a preferred listing, it never hurts to be featured on the first page of your business category. Some of the essential directories that you should leverage are Google+, Yelp, Facebook, YellowPages, Yahoo Local Business, Foursquare, Bing, Manta, Local, and White Pages. There are also services out there such as YEXT that will post your business to over 50 directories and update relevant information about your business as it changes for a small monthly fee.
Being able to rank your business in the top positions on the most relevant search engines is no easy task, but it can definitely be done if you are consistent with your activity and you avoid using any tactics that might get your site penalized. Always make sure that you consider all of the strategies that we have just mentioned and become consistent with them and you will start to see how your page climbs the ranks steadily.
There is no specific timeframe that will take you to the top of the search engine results, but you will probably start seeing great results after no more than 60 days of consistent activity. The first page ranks will depend on how much local competition you have and how hard they are working to beat you to those top stops in the results.