One of the most frequently asked questions I get from small business owners is, “How do I get found online?” Which is usually followed by, “My website doesn’t show up in Google search results.” This seems like such a simple question. But unfortunately, the answer tends to be a little more than the person asking the question usually bargains for.
With no two small businesses being exactly the same, local search efforts and getting found online, is unique for each company. How old your website is, where you are located, how many competitors you have in your area, and what industry you’re in, all impact your ability to be found online in your own hometown or city.
Sure there are best practices that everyone can and should put into place, but there are also nuances for geographic locations, different industries and markets, and the types of clientele you’re trying to reach that tend to alter where your efforts should be spent. Truth be told, there are a lot of different factors that come into play for what works for one company vs. another.
Winning at Local SEO
But it’s not impossible for a small local business to compete and get found online. Your business really can win at the Local SEO game. You just have to be aware of the rules and play accordingly. Let’s take a look at a couple that can help you increase your online visibility.
Claim your Google My Business listing.
Fill out your profile completely. Use your real business name and your current address and phone number. Make sure the information you list in GMB matches what’s on your website. Include keywords in your descriptions, videos, pictures, hours of operation, and payment methods. Carefully consider the business categories you choose and make sure they are relevant to what you actually do. Verify your listing with Google when you’re done.
Online directory listings or citations make your business more visible online. With each new directory listing, you increase the number of people that see your listing. In addition, the more listings you have, the more these directories trust the accuracy of your business information.
Get your customers to write online reviews of your business.
Online reviews have a huge impact on whether or not a prospective customer is willing to try your product or service. Monitor reviews and take immediate action if a negative one appears. Yelp doesn’t allow you to ask for reviews but Google does. Know the rules of different platforms before you ask a customer to review you there.
Make sure your website is made for the 21st century and up-to-date.
You need a mobile friendly website with a responsive design and fast loading pages. Google doesn’t like slow and neither will your customers. Make sure your name, address and phone number are on every page of your website.
Blog and use social media with local intent.
Post information about your community or the neighborhood where your business is located. Share what’s going on, your favorite places to go, and what you love about your area. Be the local curator of news and tips. It will bring your site more traffic, with a new audience that will get to know you and what you do.
Implementing several local SEO best practices can heavily impact whether or not the “locals” can find your business. With a little time and attention, you can win at the Local SEO game and get found online.
Want more information on exactly how to win at the Local SEO game and get found online? Download our free eBook, “Demystifying Local SEO” below.