Business owners — small and great — have undoubtedly heard of the power of better local search engine rankings. Search engine optimization, commonly abbreviated as “SEO,” is, in fact, website optimization. Therefore, at all levels has been viewed as a means to higher ranking, more organic traffic, and ultimately more customers.
In fact, from an online marketing perspective, SEO is about tailoring your content and marketing message to your target audience. In other words, include industry-related keywords and keyword phrases to help searchers find you. And that’s what makes Local SEO Marketing so attractive.
Improving The Search Experience
After all, it is one thing to stuff keywords all over your website. Instead, write great content with keywords seamlessly integrated. Like Google, the search engine giant, shares: “Google is always improving the search experience of its users. Your goal is to provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage, as a website owner. Writing high-quality content is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.”
But what if you are a small business who is only interested in the local market?
That’s a question that hits us many times. As a Houston search engine optimization company, many of our local clients are interested in getting customers from the local community. For example, if you are a small business doing a home inspection in Houston, you do not want calls from someone in Austin, TX.
Sadly, ranking for local SEO is a commonly overlooked strategy. The problem is that people think all SEO strategies are similar, but we are here to tell you that it’s not true. And here’s why:
Geo-Specific vs. Non-Geo-Specific SEO
The whole idea of using keywords, having great content, and creating the right meta-text are the “general” SEO strategies business owners should pursue. Because these SEO strategies are excellent at narrowing the market and helping Google and searchers find you.
In contrast, the goal of general (or non-geo-specific) SEO is to improve industrial ranking. Geography or the location of your business is not part of a non-geo-specific SEO strategy.
Geo-specific SEO (aka local SEO), on the other hand, takes SEO to a level that is more complex and more personable. It involves you doing all the “customary” SEO work while integrating several complex strategies to get your business out locally.
To get started, here are a few must-haves to steer your local search engine rankings in the right direction (or should we say the right “location”?).
Better Local Search Engine Rankings
If you are a local business, chances are you will have a physical business location too. Google My Business is a great starting point to connect to local customers. Even if you have a website, “Google My Business complements your existing website by giving your business a public identity and presence on Google. Using Google My Business enables your customers to have more straight forward and more direct access to your location, address, contact information, and business hours. Best of all, GMB is free.”
Consistent Name Address and Phone Number
NAP is a quick way to describe your local business’s name, address, and phone number. And not every company has a consistent NAP. The key here is consistency. As Search Engine Land explains, you not only need to list your NAP clearly on your website. You also need to “use the same details/format when you mention your address on other websites (i.e., local citations).
Therefore, your customers can know you are the same business they saw on Yelp two hours ago. Finally, having a consistent NAP listing and profile picture is critical to maintaining and promoting your business.
Local Reviews – Better Customer Experience
Your business reputation is essential. It is your golden key to customer retention as well as customer acquisition. Customers who love your service/product are likely to recommend you to family and friends. Therefore, when your customers leave a 5-star review, they become a part of your marketing channel for broadcasting.
A study conducted by Digital Marketing also finds that these are all considerations in the Google Local Carousel:
- Quality of Google review rating
- The number of Google reviews
- Travel time from the hotel to the searched city
- Driving distance from the hotel to the searched city
The trick for local SEO is to provide excellent service and earn excellent reviews so you can get all the love and support from customers and search engine spiders.
Local Search Engine Rankings – On Page Optimization
You probably know the basics of SEO. With local Houston internet marketing services, you need to include your city and region in various places on your website. Go ahead and add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword to the following locations:
- Website Page Title Tag
- Landing Page H1 Tag
- Website URL
- Page Content
- Image ALT Attributed
Now that you got the local search engine rankings basics covered. It’s time to continue to write quality blog posts and insert your City/Region + a relevant keyword in all of them. Distribute your content across the web and start building links and making friends.