Local SEO For Small Businesses: 7 Top Ways to Gain Visibility
Sep 5, 2022 | 4 MINUTES TO READ
Summary: Getting noticed as a small business is essential, which is why finding ways to increase your visibility with Local SEO can be a great option. Learn more here.
If you run a small business, you know exactly how much competition you are up against. There are probably many other similar businesses around you selling the same types of products and services you offer. If you want local consumers to buy from you and not them, you will need to work on your local SEO.
Local SEO helps your business’s website appear at the top of the search results page when local users search for terms related to your business. Since most people look for local businesses using Google these days, this strategy will win you much more exposure, foot traffic, and sales. Start improving your small business’ online visibility today with these 7 local SEO tips.
Table of Contents
How to Gain Local Visibility
1. Check for Technical Problems Interfering with Your Indexing
The first thing you will need to do to improve your local SEO is making sure that technical errors are not preventing your site from being properly indexed. Even small issues can sometimes make it impossible for Google to assess your site and give it a rank. Check the following things to ensure you have the proper technical foundations for local search.
- Your website should have a full XML sitemap that has been submitted to Google through the Search Console. These files list all of the pages that are part of your website and how they connect together.
- Your site should have its own unique domain name. In other words, its URL should be something like www.(companynamehere).com, not www.wordpress.(companynamehere).com. You can purchase a domain name for as little as a few dollars a year, then configure your website to display that domain. This signals to Google that your website is an important standalone content hub. As a bonus, it also makes your company look more professional to your leads.
- Your plugins may be blocking Google from crawling your site. Some common website plugins, such as the robots.txt plugin, can block Google from indexing your site. Most of these plugins are intended to help with your SEO, but they also contain tools to block indexing that you may have accidentally turned on.
- Your website may have one or more accidental redirects that make it impossible to access certain pages. If your website’s code has locked some of its pages into a redirect loop, Google’s crawlers will not be able to reach those pages and will not index them.
- Your website may not be mobile-friendly. Google uses mobile-first indexing, so websites that are not optimized for mobile browsing will not be crawled as often and will struggle to achieve high ranks.
Most of these problems are relatively easy to fix, but they do require some technical knowledge to address. If you do not feel comfortable making these adjustments on your own, you can hire a local SEO company to do the work for you.
2. Create Exceptional Content
Content marketing is a major contributor to SEO in general. Publishing high-quality content that your users find valuable will draw more traffic to your website and give you the opportunity to target more niche keywords.
For local SEO, aim to give your content as much of a local lens as possible. Show your audience that you understand their needs and can help them access the products or services they need right where they are. Reference places and landmarks that everybody in the area would know. All of these things make your content more credible to leads looking for information and solutions that are relevant to them.
3. Incorporate Local Link Building into Your SEO Strategy
Local links are an extremely important part of any comprehensive local SEO strategy. They tell Google that your website has enough value to the people around you to merit promoting it, meaning that it probably deserves a high rank. The more local links you can gather, the stronger this effect will be.
The easiest way to get local links is by listing your business on local business directories. However, since every business has immediate access to these platforms, this does not put you very far ahead of your competition. A better strategy is to guest post for locally relevant blogs, sponsor local events, or get local press coverage.
If you are not sure how to secure these opportunities, reach out to a local SEO agency for help. These agencies have the knowledge and professional connections needed to quickly assemble a robust set of local links for your business.
4. Get Your Google Business Profile in Order
Having a complete and up-to-date Google Business profile is absolutely essential for any business seeking high ranks in local search. Only businesses registered on this platform can appear in the Local Pack, the set of highly visible and detailed results that appears on the side of the screen anytime a user searches for products or services. Appearing in the Local Pack gives you incredible visibility and will generate many more leads than you would otherwise be able to get. Beyond this, having a Google Business profile also helps with more general local SEO goals.
To claim your business’s Google Business profile, you will need to submit your company’s information to Google and have that information verified. You can do this by phone, text, email, or video depending on when you contact them. Google’s internal teams will then take a few days to review your submitted details and approve your page. Once they have, you will be notified of their decision. After another few weeks, your profile will be ready to go.
Having a complete profile is just the first step. Once this is done, you will want to:
- Add plenty of photos and videos to your profile to help your leads see what your products, services, and location are really like.
- Add more details on your building accessibility, payment options, available services, and more using the Attributes feature.
- Add regular content updates using the Google Posts feature. You can re-use content from your blog or social media feeds for this if needed.
5. Ensure Local Listings Are Accurate
Listing your business on as many local directories as possible is a key step to improving your SEO. However, these listings must be accurate and consistent to be effective. If they are not, Google will not recognize them as being tied to your business website.
First, decide on a uniform way to present your business details. This includes your name, street address, phone number, and other vital information. Then, check each of your business’s listings one by one.
- Do they include all of the information in your template – and just as importantly, is that information presented the same way?
- Do all the addresses and phone numbers up to date?
- Are the spellings and abbreviations the same from listing to listing?
Make any necessary changes immediately and make sure to update each listing if anything ever changes. There are local SEO tools that can help you do this, or you can hire a local SEO company to do it for you.
You should also take this opportunity to submit your business to any directories you do not yet appear on. Each backlink helps your SEO to improve, and you never know which platforms your leads might use to try and find a provider for the products and services you sell. The more places your business appears, the better your chances of attracting new customers.
6. Monitor and Respond to Local Reviews
Reviews are a major ranking factor in Google’s local search algorithm. According to the company, they use reviews to approximate how prominent a business is in its local area. A business with many positive reviews is probably well-loved by the people who live nearby and deserves a high rank. Star ratings and snippets of reviews may also appear on search results included in the Local Pack, so getting positive reviews can help you make a good impression on your leads.
To promote good reviews, you will want to watch your website’s listings for new comments and ratings. When something new is posted, seize the opportunity to engage with the person who posted it. Express appreciation for positive comments and accept responsibility for criticism. You may even want to offer a refund or other compensation to people who have had a bad experience with your brand. If you do this, they may change their review to a more positive assessment.
Either way, replying to reviews shows that you value feedback and are listening to your customer base. This encourages more people to leave reviews, feeding the cycle.
7. Use Relevant Local Schema
A schema markup is a type of structured data that helps Google better understand your content and page structure. While schemas do not contribute directly to page rankings, they provide Google with the information it needs to display rich snippets (extra information) when your website appears in search results. These extra details will get your site more attention from the leads who see those refsults.
There are schemas for every type of information you can find on a typical business website, including reviews, aggregate ratings, FAQs, breadcrumb navigation, and more. See how many you can apply to your current website, then consider adding the details you are missing. Aim to use as many relevant schemas as possible. They exist for a reason, and if you do not use them, your competitors will.
Gain Maximum Visibility with a Synergistic Marketing Strategy
All of these local SEO techniques are effective on their own, but they are exponentially more powerful when applied together. Our experienced marketing team knows exactly how to implement each of these approaches and combine them into a powerful overarching SEO strategy that will generate incredible results. Contact us today for more information on our local SEO services and how they can help small businesses like yours.
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