When it comes to getting more organic search traffic, more visitors, and more clients… Every business owner knows that getting their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies “right” is the foundation to broadcasting their services and products loud and clear. It goes on without saying that higher ranking not only makes your website more findable, but also gives you a better chance to stand out among competitors. So what are the local seo essentials for your website?
SEO endorses your business’s credibility and brings customers to your door. As First View Online shares, “Searchers make mental notes of the rankings for the terms they enter into Google and other search engines… And in the minds of consumers, your ranking is a vote of confidence.” After all, it is not wise to question Google’s ever evolving algorithm?
At the minimum level, website owners have heard of keywords and tried to implement them in their web content. What they don’t realize is that SEO comes in various levels. There are ways to optimize your website for generic SEO as well as for local SEO.
Local SEO Essentials: Broadcasting Your Business to Your Neighbors
Local SEO helps searchers to narrow their search and find services that are accessible in their geographic location. This is especially important to small businesses that are interested in outreaching customers in the local community. But local SEO is not limited to just firms and small businesses either. As a general rule of thumb, your business can too benefit from local SEO if you meet one or more of the following requirements:
- You have a business branch in a particular city or region.
- You want to build up your brand name in a local community.
- Your service/product is tailored to a geographic area.
Apparently local SEO is about SEO geo-customization. Even if you are a thriving corporation, local SEO can help you tailor your SEO strategy to a specific area and promote your brand visibility. Without further ado, here are 6 local SEO essentials everyone must remember for a successful local SEO experience:
#1 A Sparkling Home Page
Your home page is usually your client’s first stop. Why? Because it is your storefront and the place where you showcase your products and services. For many people, the way you display, decorate, and organize your storefront says a lot about your business. It tells them how seriously and passionately you are. If you have a shabby home page, you are telling your clients that you do not see the need to spend time and money to polish your business.
Unfortunately, many business owners have minimum content on their home page and, as a result, fail to to promote their brands professionally and convincingly. This is bad local SEO practice. After all, your home page should always include information about your service(s) and local SEO keywords that reflect your area(s) of service. As Search Engine Land rightly points out, “Your customers (and search engines) need to know what you’re all about. If your home page has a slider/banner and just a few sentences, you need to add more useful content there immediately.”
#2 Well-written Service Pages
Quality content is lacking in many websites. As Casey Meraz, the founder of Ethical SEO Consulting and Lawyer SEO Marketing, shared in one of his blog posts on Advanced Web Ranking, “For many years I have seen attorney clients of ours try to optimize for every city possible. They create thin content pages that are narrowly locally focused on a city that are barely over 200 words.” That again, is a big no-no if you are interested in local SEO.
Instead, Meraz recommends businesses to prioritize and focus on areas that are the most important to them. Once you have identified your target locations, you need to start building great content that is (1) resourceful; (2) linkable; and (3) informative.
#3 Consistent and Accurate NAP
Your NAP, which includes your name, address, and phone number, needs to be consistently styled, formatted, and written in all directories. When you register your business in a credible directory, you want to make sure that you accurately fill out all the information. Doing so will help your customers to recognize your brand and reach out with ease.
And while you are at it, go ahead and check your website to make sure that you have your targeted City/Region and a relevant keywords included in your:
- Landing page title tag
- Landing page H1 tag
- Landing page URL
- Landing page content
- Landing page image ALT attributes
#4 List Your Business in Credible Directories
More customers than you know perform their search on local business directories. Many of these directories receive high views per day and can dramatically increase your website traffic. Here are 10 for you to get started on right away:
- Google Places (Google+ Local)
#5 Complete Social Network Profiles
As with our principle of consistency, your social media platforms need to be filled out completely. Include your location, address, hours of service, and other information for a seamless contacting experience. Be consistent also with your profile photos so your brand image is consistently marketed across all media channels.
#6 Build Local Links
The 6 Local SEO Essentials relies much more on local links than generic, industry-related links. While it never hurts to build links with others beyond your geographic region, having local supports is what makes you shine as a local business. One of the simplest ways is to list your business in local citations. Unlike a directory, an online citation is the reference place for you to go and list your NAP. For starters who are trying to submit citations on their own, Moz.com has a place for small businesses to manually submit their citations by categories. For a more comprehensive investment, you can visit WhiteSpark, a citation building service that is designed to improve your local ranking with quality citation submissions.