SEO Musts for Local Business Owners

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The days of searching for a local business in the Yellow Pages are long gone. Today, when someone is looking for a local business, they type what they’re looking for into Google and pick from one of the top results. This is why it’s so important for local business owners to invest in local SEO. Even on a very basic level, some local SEO work can make a big difference in a search presence, website traffic, and eventually on the bottom line in the form of sales. The following are 4 musts for local business owners:

Optimize the website

Local business websites typically aren’t that big which means that there aren’t too many pages to optimize and the process isn’t too difficult. Every page of the website should be optimized not only with relevant keywords but also with local keywords that people will be using when they search. This means adding localized keywords like city, state, neighborhood, region, etc. into title tags, meta descriptions, and on the page as it makes sense. For a local business, it’s especially important to include the business address and phone number on every page of the website. The footer is a good place for this information.

Claim local profiles

It only takes a few minutes to claim a local profile listing and update it with all of the relevant information (including the website) but we see so many local profile listings that haven’t been claimed. This is a huge missed opportunity since search engine local listings often appear at the top of a search result for local searches. Even if the listing does appear, if it’s not complete and verified and doesn’t include a website link, it could get passed over by the user. In addition to Google My Business (the top priority), it’s advisable to also spend a few minutes verifying Yahoo! Local, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, and Mapquest listings.

Write for a local audience

As a part of a content marketing strategy, it’s advisable to incorporate content that has a local flair. Content that showcases the local community, local clients, customers, and partners naturally incorporates localized keywords and it’s also the kind of content that’s more likely to be linked to and shared among a local audience.

Build local links

A variety of relevant, high quality inbound links is a top SEO ranking factor, which is why a local business should look for local link opportunities that strengthen its ties to its geographic area. In addition to local directories, look for other local link opportunities like the local chamber of commerce or local events/organizations/charities that you can sponsor and be featured on their website.

We know that local business owners don’t have a lot of time, but doing these things really can make a world of difference. If you really don’t have the time or care to do it yourself, you can always hire a trusted SEO firm to execute these activities for you.

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