Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is something people are becoming more and more familiar with, but the idea of local SEO is still a bit foreign to some. Local SEO is critical if you have a brick-and-mortar store, or offer local goods or services in any form.
Local SEO is a bit different from typical SEO, because it can be on or off your own website. Let's look at 3 tips for utilizing local SEO to your business's advantage.
1. Get listed in online directories
Sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle, and others are all places that consumers search for local businesses to meet their needs. If you're not listed there, you're completely missing out on one of the easiest, and best, ways to get new customers. DB Marcom, an authority on search engine marketing in Frisco, adds, “Make sure that your listings are correct and consistent across all these directories - include suite numbers, phone numbers, correct street addresses, and an accurate website address.” Inconsistencies will be a red flag to customers and make them think that either you're not legitimate or that it's too hard to figure out where you're located or what phone number to call, so they'll move on to someone easier to contact.
2. Google your business
This is not a recommendation to search Google for your business. Google has its own directory, large enough to warrant a separate mention. This directory is called “Google My Business”, it allows you to claim your business page. With the right optimization, you can even show up in Google's local three-pack (the map with three business names beneath it), which is incredible free advertising for your business. After a verification process that involves receiving a postcard and entering a PIN, you'll then want to optimize your listing by making it as complete as possible. Give a good description, business hours, types of payment you accept, categories, and an upload of your logo and some good pictures of your business.
3. Online reviews
84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from people they know. This means that online reviews are critical to the success of your business. But, 70% of people will leave a review if you ask them. Ask your customers to leave a review before they leave your website. Include a polite request on invoices or packing slips. Online reviews will make a difference.
Local SEO will push your business up in the search rankings, and bring you more business. You can't afford not to do it.