Opened a small business and looking for more ways to expand your client base? SEO is a great long term investment in your businesses’ online visibility. Today we will take a look at local SEO. It’s when you focus on your search engine optimization for specific keywords in specific locations. Since most search engines are always tracking the locations of their users, they tend to show results that are not just relevant to their search, but also their location. This means businesses that focus on SEO have a massive advantage over their competitors.
How do you get started on building SEO? The first thing you’ll need to do is identify your options in SEO and deciding which route best fits your business. We’ll be going over reviews, citations, link building, and keywords in this brief glimpse at SEO.
Reviews are a massive part of how your business is perceived by potential customers. Not only that, but reviews have an impact on how highly your business ranks for SEO when keywords it’s associated with are searched. If you are running a restaurant, having a higher review score (as well as having more reviews overall) greatly increases your natural search rankings on search engines; more importantly on Google maps and similar services.
Good reviews and a high quantity of reviews tells search engines that your business is highly relevant and produces a lot of reactions from those who visit it. These both play a hand in increasing
Citations and Listings
Citations are made on online registries or directories that store information about businesses. The process of getting listed on these online directories can be tedious and time consuming, often requiring the resubmission of the same information over and over to yield any tangible results. Sometimes, there is a verification process that is required in order for your business to be listed, and for some directories, payment is required.
However this does allow you to link back to your own website from the directory you are listing your business under. The more links you have pointing back to your website, the more relevant search engines will treat it when searches are made for keywords relevant to your business. Directories that are specific to your business’s area will overall have a higher impact than random directories that aggregate businesses from all over the world. Keep this in mind if you intend to manually list your business! Don’t waste your time submitting for every directory when you can hone in on the directories that are most relevant to your industry and area to increase the net benefit of every submission you complete.
Link building for SEO
Link building was briefly touched on when we discussed citations, however it is as crucial in local SEO as it is standard SEO. You will naturally want a lot of inbound links pointing towards your website. As already mentioned, this increases the relevance of your website. But besides citations, link building can be difficult to do without a network to support you. Oftentimes the go to method includes releasing press releases to a variety of news outlets. Doing this will get a high value link from a verified source pointing towards your website. In addition to press releases, guest blogging can be a great way to build links as long as you can provide the content. Guest bloggers are often allowed to plug in their website or business in the blog they post, be it either in the body or the introduction of the author.
One thing that some people get wrong when link building for SEO is the text that the link is anchored to. What we mean by this is that the text that leads to your website should be a keyword that you are trying to rank in in your area. So, if you have an Orlando based legal business, and have just released a press release to various outlets, the text that should link to your website should be something along the lines of: “Orlando Legal Services”. The more links you have pointing towards your domain with relevant keywords, the more search engines will associate your business with those keywords.
Pro-Tip: Have friends or colleagues who have websites or run their own businesses? Ask them to add a backlink to your website from their domain in exchange for one that leads to their domain. This can be a great way to begin building backlinks if you don’t have the time or resources to guest blog or do a widespread press release.
Speaking of keywords, how do you know which ones to use? Using a 3rd party software such as SEMrush or Spyfu tends to be a good starting point. You can use either software to take a peek at the keywords that your competition is using so that you can build your keyword plan around the field. Furthermore, you should target keywords that are specific to your area, not only will this be easier, but should you choose to run ads on these keywords the cost will be far below the cost of a broader keyword or keyphrase.
You should also make it a point to include these relevant keywords all over your websites. References to your location, as well as what services you offer should be found in the headers and body paragraphs found across your website. This will ensure that your website itself has the keywords mentioned to appear in search results.
Now that you’ve gotten a look at what tools you have to build your SEO, you can decide which ones best fit your needs. Restaurants naturally benefit much more from good reviews than other businesses, so a new restaurant start-up may want to focus their efforts on such! Likewise, citation building is good no matter what industry you’re in and is relatively easy to get started on, so every small business looking to grow their SEO should give it a try.
We hope this blog was helpful and will hopefully help you grow your business to new heights! If you need a hand with any of you SEO or PPC problems, we also offer top of the line service. Digital Marketing Whiz was formed by two brothers who took their own small business and put it on the map in multiple cities thanks to our knowledge of SEO. Why fumble over the minutia when you can let pros handle it?