If you’re a small business who hasn’t considered optimizing your site for local SEO, you’re missing out on the potential to reach an audience that’s practically at your doorstep. Starting a local SEO overhaul for your site and keywords might sound daunting, but it’s worth it when you see your rankings and sales increase. Here’s a quick guide on how to master local SEO.
Start with your Website
Before you start focusing on keywords and citations, you need to make sure your website is one that is easily navigable for both people and search engine crawlers. If your website was designed in 2001, it probably needs a massive facelift. Search engines recognize when users don’t spend a lot of time on your site, which affects your rankings negatively. After you’ve done this, update the site regularly by posting valuable content so people will want to come back.
Customize your Keywords
Since your business is likely competing with larger businesses that have dominated general keywords, this is your chance to optimize your site for locally targeted keywords. For instance, if your business specializes in computer repair, instead of trying to compete with the keyword “computer repair,” change your optimization to “computer repair dallas.” This will narrow the focus to a smaller audience and your rankings won’t be buried by larger businesses.
Social Media is your Best Friend
Sites like Facebook and Twitter can seem foreign to those who don’t frequent social media, but they offer small businesses the chance to communicate their brand message on a more personal level. Don’t mistake social media for a channel to run promotions all day – communicating with customers and clients is the key to helping your rankings increase. Use these sites as an opportunity for sharing useful content or brand news with customers. The more valuable your information is, the more your followers will comment and share, which makes your relevance to search engines increase.
Utilize SEO Tools and Resources
Don’t feel like you’re expected to figure out how to climb the SERPs alone. There are plenty of local SEO resources out there to help you along the way. Google AdWords can help you research what keywords people in your area are searching for, which can help you better target your keywords to match. Google Alerts is a useful reputation management tool that can alert you when your brand is being talked about online. This can help with responding immediately to customer feedback, whether positive or negative.
Don’t underestimate the value of local SEO tactics for your business. By optimizing your website and making use of social media and local keywords, your rankings should see a dramatic and dynamic rise through the SERPs.