Many small business owners are very busy doing day-to-day business activities and often look over their web presence and online marketing. But investing just a little bit of time and money with Local SEO can increase your traffic from local customers making geographical searches.
If you run a small local business, then Local SEO is a very powerful technique you can use to rank higher in your geographical area for your specific business service.
For example, with a good Local SEO campaign, you can rank for keywords like “Your City + Your Service”. So if we were to use SEO as an example, we would use Local SEO to rank higher for Kansas City SEO. ‘Kansas City’ is where our business is located and ‘SEO’ is the service we provide.
Getting Started with Local SEO
There are a number of important pieces that you need to add/change on your website to adhere to the latest Local search engine optimization guidelines:
Local On-Page SEO
Optimizing your website for Local SEO is one of the most important signals when it comes to ranking your website higher in your businesses geographical area. This includes:
- Adding your business name, address and phone number into your footer in the form of structured data (see below).
- Using your city and state name in heading tags, meta tags and alt tags.
It’s also very important to add local business structured data as well as any other relevant structured data that will give search engines more information about your business and website.
Using structured data on your website helps Google and other search engines better parse your website and figure out what it’s about. Structured data can be implemented using 3 different formats:
- JSON-LD (recommended)
There are plenty of structured data generator tools to create the correct code to easily implement into your website.
Local NAP(W) Citations
NAPW stands for Name, Address, Phone and Website and is an extremely important factor when trying to rank higher locally. Building citations in directories and aggregators will help boost your website to the top of the results in your locality. Adding your website to places like Yellow Pages, City Data, Niche Directories and Local News sites will help move you up in your city and state when people search for your service.
Make sure that all your NAP citations are exactly the same and consistent across the web. Your business name, phone and address should be exactly the same everywhere or search engines will have a hard time figuring out with data is correct.
Backlinks from Local Sources
Just like normal SEO, Local SEO requires that you have quality backlinks to your website…but with Local SEO, you want backlinks from other local sources. These could be:
- Local News stations
- Other Local business website
- Local directories
- Local Events
Having a variety of backlinks from local sources like these will increase your website’s rankings in that local area.
Google My Business Signals
Using Google My Business Signals is a necessary step in Local SEO. If you do not verify your business in their ’My Business’ area, it’s likely your website will never be found.
Adding your business to Googles My Business will include it in the local search as well as increase your rankings for searches in your business’s area. To add your business, simply go to https://www.google.com/business/ and go through the process of adding your business. They will send a card to your business in the mail with a confirmation code on it so that they can verify your address.
Once you have verified your business, you will now show up in google maps and google searches.
That last factor in ranking well locally is having a lot of great local reviews. As im sure you are aware, when you search for a local business, you often see the highest rating businesses first. This is an obvious part of Google’s algorithm that is going to show the best businesses (with the highest ratings) first.
Getting more reviews for your business may seems like a big feat but it can be pretty simple to get some good reviews. If you have past customers, simply reach out to them and ask for a review. You would be surprised how many people will do it if you just ask!
Another great way to get more reviews is to link to your reviews page from your website. This way, customers can easily find out how and where to review your service.
If you adhere to the principles and techniques mentioned above, you will see large increases in traffic from customers in your local market. Remember to keep your NAP citations exactly the same all throughout the web so that they are consistent.