If you follow SEO, you know it changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever to optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your business locally. Local competition is getting heated. You must stay on top of your search engine ranking strategies to keep ahead of your competitors.
SEO for your local business should be a very important part of your overall marketing plan. A well thought out and executed SEO plan can set you apart from other businesses in your industry and make you a local superstar. Doing SEO for your local business is a fairly straight forward process, you just need to follow a few simple tips. What are they? We’re glad you asked. We’ll provide some of them for you in this blog post.
- Title and meta tag descriptions still matter. If you use title and meta tags correctly we can guarantee that you’ll be ahead of the game. What are title and meta tags? They are html code on your website page that helps search engines read what your page is about. You should use keywords in both your title and your meta descriptions. This is what is displayed in search results when end users are searching for you. Title tags should be between 50 and 60 characters while descriptions can be as many as 200 characters. Try not to go over 200 characters or not all of the information will not show up in the search engine results. As a localized business, make sure to include your location in the title and the description.
- Online directories and citations. Many businesses don’t utilize online directories and citations. You should try to claim your business online in as many top online business directories as possible. Start by checking with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a local directory you can get on. You can also search for keywords like “your city” directory to find other local citation sites or directories. Make sure you have your name, address and phone number listed consistently and correctly across all of them. Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations and missing information can make it difficult for Google to figure out where to find you. If Google’s not sure, they may not show you at all.
- Claim and optimize your business on Google My Business. Although it’s considered a directory, we give Google My Business its own special mention. It’s very important for local businesses to claim their Google My Business page. It’s free and can get you incredible exposure if you’re optimized enough to show up in Google’s local three-pack that shows up on the site when people type in a search term in the search engine. To claim the business page, go to http://google.com/business. You’ll need to verify your business and then you can set up the listing. Make sure to fill it out completely. You can use keywords in the description areas.
- Online reviews matter. What people say about your business online can make or break your reputation. Many people view reviews before deciding to patronize a local business. You should find ways to monitor your reputation online. There are software programs available that will do this. Social media counts as well. You must be responsive to reviews whether positive or negative. Always be gracious and kind and try to correct problems if you can.
These four SEO tips can help you get ahead of your local business competition. We definitely think that you should utilize each of these tips to improve your business’ local relevance and ranking. For more information on what to do for local business SEO, stay tuned to our blog. We look forward to giving you more insights in the future.