People often overlook the importance of local SEO as it relates to their online marketing efforts. It’s easy to do; after all, you’re trying to sell your product or service to people in your area and not on a national scale. Still, the fact that your business has local ties means that local search engine optimization can be very important in gaining more visibility and getting more customers coming through your doors. Here are some tips on how to make your local SEO efforts pay off right away, and what you can do to keep them working well into the future!
Do Keyword Research
The foundation of local SEO is your choice of keywords. All search engine optimization is based on keywords, and it’s no different for local businesses. Before you do anything else, take some time to research keywords in your niche by using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Wordtracker and others. While you do that, also take a look at related words (aka long-tail phrases) people might use if they’re searching for specific information about your business.
Optimize the On-Page SEO
The most important, and often overlooked, step of local SEO is creating a website that’s set up for success. If you want people in your area (and beyond) to find you on Google and other local search engines, it’s essential that you optimize your web pages from top to bottom. Here are some basics: Keep NAP consistent across all profiles—Your NAP (name, address, phone number) should be consistent on all your online properties.
Create Informative, Attractive Pages
To rank well for local search terms, you’ll need pages that are not only informative but also attractive. That means writing great copy with compelling titles and descriptions as well as using attractive images and videos where possible.
Be Regular on Social Media and Share Updates
Whenever you post an update about your business, be sure to share it on each of your social media accounts. By creating more visibility on social media, you’ll reach a greater number of potential customers, which will help generate more local search inquiries for your business. More importantly, consistently sharing updates on social media helps local Google+ users see that you are active in their community and that you care about making connections with them. Sharing relevant posts—whether they highlight news or an upcoming event—will enhance your reputation in your community as a thought leader and make people more likely to check out what you have to offer. It’s not just important that others know who you are but also that they see how much value they can get from engaging with you!
Focus on Rankings, Not Visitors
Some local marketers try to get as many local customers as possible. While they do succeed in getting more people through their doors, it’s often at a low cost-per-lead (CPL). However, if you instead focus on quality leads—those that are truly qualified for your services—your CPL will drop and your revenue will go up. In turn, your business’s growth can become self-sustaining over time.