How to Prepare Your Small Business for Local SEO?

How to Prepare Your Small Business for Local SEO?


When running a small business, it can feel like you have to wear every hat imaginable. From accountant to salesperson to a marketer and beyond, it can often feel like you simply don’t have the time or resources to do everything that goes with running a company. 

One thing many local businesses fail to do is optimize for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for helping your business stand out from competitors by ranking higher in Google searches. This post will cover how you can capitalize on local small business SEO strategies and get your company found by potential customers.

Update Your Listing on Google My Business

Google My Business (formerly Google Maps) is a powerful platform that can help your business be found by people searching for you on a local search. Therefore, it’s important to have an active and updated listing on Google My Business so potential customers can find you when they search for your business type and location.

The first step to building an effective Google My Business listing is creating it in the first place. If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and fill out the form from Google—it only takes about five minutes! You’ll be asked for some basic information about your business: your name, address(es), phone number(s), hours of operation, etc., along with some details about what makes you unique compared to other businesses nearby (e.g., “We sell organic produce” vs. “Our organic bread is baked fresh daily”).

Optimize Your Company Website

Optimizing your company website can be a powerful way to gain local search visibility. You can do this in several ways:

  • Use the right keywords. Keywords help potential customers find you online, and they should be specific to the city or town where you’re located. For example, if your business is based in Los Angeles, use LA-related keywords like “Los Angeles catering” or “LA marketing agency.”
  • Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Your site needs to look good on all types of devices so that people visiting it will have an easy time navigating through it with one hand while holding their coffee with the other! It also means that any images used within the layout should not be too large (or they may appear blurry when viewed on smaller screens).
  • Include local address information on every page of your site (including footers!). It helps establish credibility and trustworthiness among potential customers who are researching businesses before making purchases from them – both qualities that tend towards influencing decisions made by consumers looking for answers about something new, such as home remodels.”

Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that helps you build trust with potential customers and rank higher on Google search results. By creating content that answers questions and solves problems for your target audience, you can drive traffic to your website, build a community around your brand, and get more customers.

Content marketing should be an integral part of every small business owner’s plan for local SEO because:

  • It is a long-term tactic that can take up to 6 months or longer to see results. It requires consistency, patience, and persistence to execute properly.
  • It builds trust with potential customers, so they are more likely to purchase from you than competitors who aren’t actively engaging in online conversations about their products/services. Additionally, these articles serve as “proof,” which positively affects rankings even further when paired alongside other factors like backlinks/mentions across social media platforms such as Facebook pages/groups.

Leverage Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are the most important ranking factor in Google’s local search results. That’s why reviews can have a massive impact on your SEO, so you should do everything in your power to encourage customers to leave feedback for your business.

Respond to customer reviews. Customer feedback is vital for any business, but it also plays a huge role in local SEO. The more positive ratings and reviews you get, the better are your chances of ranking high in Google Maps or other local search engines.

Responding to negative reviews is a crucial part of building customer trust and brand reputation online – remember that unhappy customers are much more likely than happy ones to leave feedback! Your response should include steps taken by the company to rectify the situation (such as free shipping if an order was delayed) and an apology with an explanation as to what went wrong (without being defensive). 

If there was no fault on behalf of yourself or your staff members, then simply thank them for pointing out this error. However, if there was a fault involved, ensure they know who apologized before asking for a second chance to redeem yourself. 

Consistently Monitor Local Directories

You need to do your homework and know which local directories are important so you can monitor them. Keep an eye on the most popular business directories in your local area. While there may be hundreds of directories out there, we recommend starting with only a few at first, especially the ones that get the most traffic and have the highest authority in Google Search results.

Create an account on each directory site, or sign in to existing accounts when prompted (you should always do this to filter for “verified” listings). It will give you access to information about your company’s listing on these sites and allow you to edit any incorrect information or add new content, such as a recent press release or blog post about an event.

Small Businesses Must Target Local Customers

If you’re a local business, there’s no way to avoid the importance of local SEO for your small business. Local SEO is what will make sure that people who are searching for a product or service like yours will find you.

Local SEO is important because it’s a long-term strategy that can help build trust with customers and get more traffic to your site over time. When people search online, they want an answer immediately. They don’t want to wait until tomorrow or next week before they hear back from someone at your company! And if they don’t see anything on page one of Google when they search for something relevant, then chances are good that they’ll go somewhere else instead (and probably never come back).

Conclusion

Local search engine optimization is a critical element of every small business’s marketing strategy, and for a good reason. Local search drives more customers to local businesses than any other marketing channel—including social media, pay-per-click advertising, and cold calling. Studies show that nearly 72% of consumers who conducted a local search visited a store within five miles of their current location.

Ready to take your business’s local SEO efforts up a notch? Start by following the steps outlined in this guide, and you should be able to succeed.