Building a website for your business is a great first step to building a digital presence for your business. However, you need to go one step further to ensure your business can be found online.
Here at Big Red SEO, we understand that local SEO is a critical factor in helping more people to find your business and a vital tool to build your customer base. With more and more people searching directly on Google when they are looking for a product or service, it is crucial that your business is as close to the top of the search results as possible so that you can continue to drive your business forward.
Let’s take a look at 7 tips that business owners can easily implement to improve their local SEO rankings and start outranking the competition.
Get Listed On Google My Business
Google’s My Business listings are the first strategic step you need to take to enhance your local SEO presence. This service is absolutely free to use and all it takes to get your business listed is a straightforward verification process with Google.
Google My Business listings are how Google features businesses in a localized way. Being enrolled in this system will allow you to refine how your business appears when users in your area search for your services. You can include important information such as opening hours, your phone number and address, and photos of your business. Customers can also leave reviews of your business that can help your business to stand out from your local competitors.
Make Sure Your Page Is Mobile-Friendly
With the introduction of mobile-first indexing, ensuring that your pages are easily compatible with mobile devices of all shapes and sizes is essential. Nowadays, more search traffic, especially local searches, is generated through mobile devices, rather than desktops. If your information is not readily accessible from a cell phone, then you risk losing out to your competition in terms of your position in the Google rankings. If your website is not designed to be mobile-friendly, get in touch with us at Big Red SEO. With our vast web design experience, we have the knowledge and the expertise to get you on the right track.
“Localize” Your Pages
Optimizing your pages so that they are as local as possible is a great way to stand out when users are searching in your area. One tactic is to use local keywords in your pieces of content and in other critical areas of your pages. Finding which keywords are best in your area is both an art and a science and it can be tricky business. However, spending some time on keyword research can lead to more attention and a higher conversion from local customers. Try using Google’s own Keyword Research & Planner tool inside Google Ads to get started if you are unfamiliar with this strategy or get in touch with us at Big Red SEO and let us help you to find the best keyword strategy for your business.
To make your pages stand out from the local crowd, you need to include a variety of relevant and high-quality outbound links to other local pages. This can be done effectively by contacting local organizations relevant to your industry and offering to write guest posts for their websites, which will link back to your page as well. This can help to create a network of links that makes it easy for Google’s algorithm to identify your business as being an industry leader in your area.
Include A Map
When you enroll in Google My Business, your business can automatically show on the maps (as long as you don’t select the hide my address option). Taking this one step further, you can now embed the Google Map directly into your website on your Contact page. This further gives a signal to Google that your website and the property are related.
Beyond that, it will tell your customers precisely where you are located, making your business easy-to-find. For example, you can see Big Red SEO pinned on Google Maps at this link. This simple step is precisely what good local search engine optimizing practices need to revolve around; namely, organic ways that can both provide a benefit to your customers while boosting your online profile.
Solicit Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are one of the most powerful means of motivating your local clientele to do business with you. Therefore, openly encouraging your customers to leave online reviews of your business is a fantastic way of boosting your local SEO while potentially bolstering your company profile and giving your business more credibility locally.
Here at Big Red SEO, we understand that you might be hesitant or even consider it to be risky to open yourself up to potential criticism. However, you need to be confident enough in your business and customer service to solicit customer reviews and receive the SEO boost that you will get from doing so. Focus on the Big Three – Facebook, Google, and Yelp – to receive the biggest boost to your online presence.
Keep An Eye On The Competition
Whether you choose to carry out some form of competitor analysis and SEO audit yourself or you opt for a professional analysis of your competitor’s strategies, such as we offer at Big Red SEO, you need to know what the competition is doing. Keeping an eye on what other businesses in your industry are doing to enhance their online presence is essential if you want to outrank them. While you may not be able to directly see what your competitors are doing to improve their local SEO, with some in-depth research of their website, you can actually learn quite a lot. With the right tools, techniques, and technical know-how, you can analyze key areas such as SEO, PPC, website trust, usability and accessibility and social media marketing to gain a better understanding of what your competitors are doing.
For example, if your competitors feature videos and photos of their establishment on their Google My Business pages, you might choose to do the same. Look out for their use of keywords and try to emulate what is working for them. Of course, you do not want to directly copy your competitors. You want to stand out from the crowd, be sure to match your competition in everything they do but go one, or more, steps beyond for even better results.
Follow Standard SEO Best Practices
As we tell all of our clients at Big Red SEO, the fundamentals behind standard SEO apply in the same way as to local SEO. If you are already proficient with SEO in a general sense, you can use many time-tested strategies to benefit your local online presence. On the other hand, if you are not familiar with SEO, it can often seem complex and overwhelming, but, don’t worry, we are always here to help.
For example, remember to be mindful of the loading speed of your pages. One of the best ways to do this is to optimize your images for easy loading. Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool from inside Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Console), you can quickly verify whether or not your page loads well. Not only is this a direct search engine ranking signal for pages on Google SERPs, but it can also benefit your local users directly. Being able to provide a quick response to local queries can give you an edge over competitors whose loading speeds are lagging behind.
Google has specific webmaster guidelines and an entire document devoted to Google Search Quality Guidelines that deals more with quality content and how it relates to organic searches and appearance in Google. Be forewarned, the guide is not a starter guide to SEO and should be reviewed by an SEO expert or someone with a lot of time on their hands.
Seven Steps To SEO Success
The above tips and advice will go a long way towards boosting your online presence and giving you an edge over your local competition. It is important to remember that effective local SEO techniques take time and effort, so be sure to be patient and put your effort into the right areas. Search Engine Optimization is just one of the many tools or steps needed in a good search marketing strategy. Continue to strive to improve your prominence in the digital environment, and with time, you will see a big difference in how your business appears in the local search results.
For assistance with your local SEO efforts, get in touch with our SEO team at Big Red SEO today on (402) 522-6468. We have helped countless Omaha businesses to improve their online presence, move up in the search results, reach more customers, and ultimately improve their bottom line. With our years of experience with web design and SEO in Omaha, you can be sure that you will be in safe hands with our team at Big Red SEO.