Most local businesses are now aware of SEO. Local SEO optimizes your website, so people searching for a local business with your specific products and services will find you. It can give you “a leg up” on your competition.
But Local SEO is not a magic bullet. While you can see results quickly, it does not work instantly, but you will see it work as time goes on. What is important to understand is all of the factors that you must manage.
Some do their own Local SEO, if they have an aptitude for computers and the Internet. But quite frankly, if you are running a business, it can be hard to find the time to implement Local SEO, even if you know how to do it. That’s why finding experts to help you with it can be ideal, so you can put your head on your pillow at night and never worry that you missed a step with your Local SEO because you had to take care of another part of your business.
Here are some of the important factors you’ll want to take care of when it comes to Local SEO. Keep this checklist handy so you do all of these steps for success!
Doing this helps Google know about your business and means that you will also be featured in their knowledge panel. This probably takes about twenty minutes, from start to finish. But it’s quite helpful. Customers can also review your business, which helps future customers know what it is like to do business with you. This can encourage new and repeat customer sales for you.
Be sure that any information you provide for your Google listing is 100% accurate! If you are uncertain, check the spelling of a street name or a telephone number. The goal is not just local SEO but also so that customers can find you – which actually is the entire reason that you do tasks related to local SEO.
Title tags can also be called sub-headings in website copy or a blog post. To optimize them is fairly simple – you’ll want to try to use keywords that relate to your business, niche industry and also the exact location of your business. So, if you have a hair salon in Houston, TX and you have a website page about highlighting hair, some of the keywords could be “highlights” “Houston” “dying hair” and perhaps also the specific neighborhood in Houston that your salon is located in.
Optimizing your website’s images is something that a lot of people don’t think about, but can be so helpful. Use Alt and Title tags effectively in case your image doesn’t load. Adding titles and metatags to them, means that Google and other search engines can easily find them, when someone does a search, it helps these be included and considered as part of the possible search results. Today’s websites are typically image-rich, especially companies that are selling products and services because you are showing customers what they can buy. So, this is a wonderful opportunity to give your Local SEO a great “boost!”
You want to have consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) details for your local site. When you add your business name, address and phone number anywhere it is published on the ‘net, this all needs to be exactly the same information. If you are not the business owner and are given this task, take the extra step to check with them and confirm that you have all of the correct information that should be displayed.
Streamline your URL’s so they work well with SEO guidelines. Just keep them simple. The best URL’s (website addresses) are those that include keywords, as this is how customers search. For example, they may look for a “Houston, TX hair salon.” If you include the words “Houston” and “salon” in your website URL, then your URL is likely stronger and more efficient than some of the others that are not as clear as to what type of company they are. That being said, it is perfectly fine if you have a business name that does not use keywords, just keep in mind that you will need to make more of an effort with other strategies for Local SEO.
Be sure to add Google Analytics to your website. It is free and quite intuitive to use. Having this tool will help you analyze the demographics of who visits your site and see daily and monthly traffic. This can let you make business and website related decisions wisely. Reading the Google Analytics reports is quite easy, and you’ll see graphs, charts and numbers that indicate how your website is performing. Then you can work as a team to improve or adapt things to make results better, if needed.
It’s a fact: more people are browsing the internet in mobile devices than they are in desktop computers! Does that give you an understanding of why having a mobile friendly website is so important? A mobile friendly site means that your customers can view it easily on their cellphone, tablet and any other device, not just a desktop computer.
Your navigation menu should always be indexable, to help SEO results. A navigation menu helps people find their way around your website easily. This should not be complex or complicated. Yes, you’ll also want to use keywords! But especially, it should be well-organized, so that Google can search it quickly to find what it needs, so you can be included easily in search results. This is a very important strategy for Local SEO.
Create a Contact Us page complete with every business location that you have. It is also ideal if this page has a link to Google Maps or another map and directions site, so your customers can easily find you.
Have an organized and clean XML sitemap, so Google can easily find any of your site’s pages. Doing this greatly improves your local SEO as well. Local SEO is not always about keywords, but also about how quickly Google can search your website. If your site is hard to search, Google will move on elsewhere and you don’t want it to do that!
When you have 301 Permanent Redirects of old and deleted pages included at your site, they will easily send that traffic to your new URL and/or website. So, you won’t miss out on a potential customer finding your site.
As you can see, with every step Local SEO serves your customer and makes your site easy for them to use. So actually, this is part of Customer Service! Talk to a Local SEO expert about how you can get great results today!