4 Steps Towards Local SEO Success

Written by Nick Stamoulis

How are you marketing your local business? Sure, the tried and true traditional advertising channels can still be effective, but let’s face it: when someone is searching for a local business or service, they are heading to Google. Are they going to find your local business? If not, you’re missing out on lots of opportunities, and revenue. If you want to be found in Google (or any other search engine), you must be investing in local SEO. Here are 4 primary steps towards SEO success:

Create a website

Having a presence on local websites like Yelp or social media websites like Facebook is certainly better than nothing and is useful for when someone searches for your business by name. But in today’s online world it’s absolutely necessary to also have your own website. It’s a piece of the web that you have complete control over, unlike Yelp and Facebook. And it can help your company appear in search for non-branded searches. We understand that a website requires an investment that local business owners might not be able to swing, but it’s worth saving for. Local business websites don’t need to be complex, usually a few pages will do just fine. However, it’s important to make sure that it’s mobile-friendly, since the majority of local searches happen on mobile devices these days!

Optimize the website

In addition to targeting branded and industry keywords, it’s important to incorporate local keywords into the website, too. Be sure to include phone number and physical address on every page of the website (the footer is a good place for this) because it helps tell the search engines where you are located. Focus on the actual city, county, neighborhood, etc. that you are physically located in since Google will often show local results based on the location of the searcher.

Verify local listings

Having a website is the top priority but you also want to make sure you’re listed in all of the top online local directories like Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, and Mapquest. Spend a few hours claiming, updating, and verifying listings in all of these places. Another option is to subscribe to Yext, which will make sure that your listings are up to date and accurate on 70+ local listing websites.

Build local links

Inbound links pointing to your website are an SEO ranking factor, and for local websites, it’s important to have inbound links from other local websites. It helps to establish your location for ranking purposes and these links can also drive traffic from a local audience. Search for local business directories that accept submissions, the chamber of commerce, and local events that are looking for sponsors.

These are the high-level, basic steps to take for local SEO success. However, they don’t apply to local businesses only. Every business should be doing these things in order to improve their brand presence in the search engines and across the web.

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