Local SEO for Small Businesses

How to Help Locals Find Your Business

SEO or search engine optimization is essentially a process to help a website rank when users type relevant terms into a search engine. The general concept behind SEO is to create content that ranks for specific keywords or phrases. Local SEO is a term that comes up when discussing SEO. Local SEO is the same as SEO, except local SEO places emphasis on ranking locally. The local aspect can be very beneficial for small businesses. 

If you operate a business with a brick-and-mortar location or conduct business in a specific area or region, then local SEO can help customers find you. Here is what you need to know about local SEO for small businesses.

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Making Sense of Local SEO

Local SEO is part of a larger SEO strategy. For instance, let’s say you own a bakery. Getting your site to appear on the first page of a Google search for a relevant (non-location specific) keyword is excellent. However, if you have one shop and you do not ship your goods, that ranking isn’t going to be very useful when people outside of a reasonable driving distance search that term and find you.

Implementing local SEO can help your website rank for searches referencing your area. For example, a search for ‘bakery in [your town]’ will serve up your business. This result is beneficial because it will help customers find you and potentially make a purchase.

Near Me Searches

Google makes it very easy to find nearby businesses. Do you need a gas station, a birthday card or lunch? No problem. Just type in what you’re looking for with terms like ‘nearby,’ ‘near me,’ or ‘nearest,’ and you’ll find close-by results. A sure-fire way to ensure your business shows up when users search for a nearby business is to create and maintain a Google My Business page. Add your physical address, contact info, website, and hours so customers can find you.

Make sure to include your contact info on any social media platforms that you use. 

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Review Your Site

Before you can implement an SEO strategy, you need a good, functioning website. Your site should have a good structure and loading speed and provide a helpful user experience. A good website will also include contact information (physical address, phone number, etc.) in relevant places, like the footer and the contact page. This information is helpful for customers and search engines. 

Structure Your Data

Help search engines understand the information on your site by including structured data, like Schema.org vocabulary. Include relevant vocabulary or keywords as tags in the code of your site. The tags confirm information like your physical location. Including tags pulls this information into the search engine results and turns a snippet into a rich snippet, or rich result as they’re more commonly referred to lately. Adding location tags helps search engines identify your business’s location, making your site more likely to turn up in a relevant search.

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Rich snippets are more informative and have a high click-through rate, so users are more likely to visit your site.

Use the Right Keywords

Structured data helps search engines understand your location, but you still need to rank for relevant keywords or phrases. At this point, a typical SEO strategy is the same as a local SEO plan. It’s essential to understand your niche and what sets your business apart so users can find you. Once you have your keywords, you can get down to creating high-quality content that utilizes those keywords. This content, coupled with your structured data, is the foundation of a local SEO strategy.

Creating a Local SEO Strategy

Local SEO can help people in your community find your business, and it can help give your business an edge over national brands. Creating and implementing an SEO strategy takes time, and if you’re busy running your business, time may be a valuable resource in short supply.
I can help by implementing a local SEO plan for your website. Let’s talk and get this sorted out. Outsourcing your SEO needs allows you to focus on other aspects of your business, so you don’t have to do it all.

Let me know what you think!