Local SEO is a great way to gain attention for your business – both online and offline. There are a variety of strategies you can use to boost your online profile.
Of course, you want to start by claiming your Google My Business page and making sure that your name, address, phone, and other contact information is consistent across all platforms.
But what do you do after that? Here are five effective strategies to keep the ball rolling for your business.
Optimize Site Security and Speed
One of the first things you can do that your competitors might forget about is making your website as secure and fast as possible. You don’t want your site to be susceptible to hackers, takeovers, denial-of-service (DOS) attacks, or anything else. Those sorts of attacks can cause both customers and search engines to lose faith in your website and business.
You also want your site to load quickly – especially on mobile devices. The faster your website is, the better Google will rank your site in search results.
Take advantage of caching to ensure that people who visit your website only have to load once. Browser caching stores static resources, which speeds the load time significantly. Make sure images are adaptive and aren’t too large, and use HTML5 instead of Flash to boost speed on mobile.
Focus on Mobile
Google now uses mobile-first indexing, meaning they serve up the mobile version of your website to both mobile and desktop searchers. As a result, it’s vital to focus on how your website looks on smaller screens.
Is the text large enough to read on a small device? Do the images look good? Does the site load quickly?
You want to make sure that no sidebar elements overlap the main text when the site is opened on a small screen. Choosing responsive website design can make a big difference, but it’s not enough on its own. Be sure to visit your site on a mobile device and see how it looks for real.
Develop Local Content
One of the best ways for local small businesses to compete with larger companies is by developing locally focused content. Not just, “what do your customers want to know,” but, “what do customers in your area want to know?”
If you’re a veterinarian in Canada, write about the challenges of having pets in your specific area. In some areas, it might be important to talk about the dangers of coyotes, and in other areas how to keep your pet safe around high-traffic streets.
Along with that content, you’ll want to focus on local keywords and long-tail keywords that are relevant to your content and customers. These are the keywords you’ll try to rank highly for in search engines. Examples include “walking a dog in Toronto,” or “signs you dog needs to go to a Toronto vet.”
Do you need help finding these keywords and focusing your content? An SEO consultant can make a big difference.
Create an Incredible User Experience
How much time do people spend on your website? Your Google Analytics can tell you the answer. What you might not realize is that the longer people are on your site, the more relevant the search engine assumes it is.
Having a great user experience and encouraging people to spend time on your website can do a lot to boost your local SEO. Have colorful graphics (that load quickly!), useful information, and calls-to-action that lead users to additional articles or product pages.
You want to make sure your website is easy to navigate, has high-quality content, and the information is easy to understand and digest.
Manage Your Company’s Reputation
Your company is amazing and provides high-quality products and services. That’s awesome. But how do you let others know?
Hint: you don’t tell them yourself!
Instead, let others do the talking for you through reviews. Google reviews are a great place to start, but Yelp reviews and other platforms are excellent as well. In fact, the more you can build your reputation on a variety of review sites, the better.
Don’t be nervous about having a negative review or two. First of all it will help your credibility – no one trusts all five-star reviews. Secondly, when you respond and handle the issue, it shows you care about the customers and their experience. It helps those who read it trust you!
Support Local with Local SEO Today
If you want to make sure your business can compete with larger companies, you need to take advantage of local SEO strategies today. These five steps are a great start. From there, consider going further – share locally-focused content on social media, look into search ads, or even create community groups to engage your customers.
Local SEO can take your business to a new level of success. Don’t wait – get started now!