As a small business owner, building up your presence online is just as crucial as spreading the word about it offline.
On the web, you have the tools and the capability of reaching hundreds of customers looking for products and services locally. It boosts the quality of your search engine marketing and targets markets that are truly in need of what you have to offer.
In short, it is local SEO that makes it possible for small businesses and startups to rank prominently on search engines. But how exactly do you do local SEO? What should you do to be able to rank and improve your local SEO ranking?
Let’s take a look at 7 tips to rank on search engines and improve local SEO ranking:
- Get on Google Places. A good starting point, you can register your business on Google Places for free and have your business profile appear on organic local searches. This, in turn, makes it possible for consumers on Google+ to check out your business via Google Local.
- Get busy with other search engines. Google may be the search engine titan, but you should also work with other search engines and business listings (e.g. Yahoo! Local) in order to further extend your online presence.
- Monitor your information. Take a look at all of your online listings and make sure the information is correct and accurate. You can use tools and web guides like CitySearch to achieve this.
- Gather positive reviews. Make it your goal to cultivate loyalty and happiness in your customers. This will convince them to leave a positive review of your business on Google Local, Yelp, and other reviews sites.
- Guest blog. This is a great way to get citations for your business. If you can afford it, hire a high quality content writer to write up pieces to use as guest posts on prominent blogs and websites across the internet.
- Get involed both online and off. Another great way to gather citations is to get involved with your local online and offline communities. Participate in active relevant forums, local activities, and engage with people within your target cities and areas.
- Prioritize content. Figure out which keywords to use for optimum ranking and incorporate it into your website’s high quality content. Likewise, ensure that the most important information (e.g. your location, zip code, contact details) are found in distinct areas of your site.
Bonus: Received a message from customers outside of your area? Want to target customers on a national scale? Device a strategy that would enable you to cater to their needs as well. Oh, and don’t forget to mention it in your website.
While there are plenty of local SEO tools and additional strategies you can implement (e.g. updating your WHOIS info), the most important ranking tip is to ensure that your business information is accurate and accessible all throughout. Monitor, update when necessary, and always deliver great service to customers who have indeed spotted you online.