When people hear the term SEO, they usually think about large corporations that are trying to extend their reach into the global market. This may be something that SEO can do for major companies, but that doesn’t mean that local businesses can’t benefit from SEO. In fact, it may be more important for small businesses to have a sophisticated optimization strategy in order to win over the local market so that they can scale up with a solid foundation in the future. With that said, here is our beginner’s guide to improving your small business’s local SEO strategies:
Optimize Your Site for Local Search Inquiries
Small businesses rely heavily on their local customers, and for that, they have to try their best to be the most notable brand in the local market. You can do that by focusing on area-specific keywords. For example, “window repairs in Bozeman, Montana” is a niche search query that a window service in the town should try to be on the top of. You also have to make sure that your phone number, email, and address are visible on the front page as that will help customers to reach out to you. Additionally, be sure to claim your business on Google My Business and update the information on there regularly to let Google know that you’re an active business.
Update Local Search Engine Directories
You want to make sure you let the search engines know as much about your business as possible, so you have to update your local directories on a regular basis. If you’re launching a new product or service, you have to update it on Google Business. Or if you have recently moved your address, changed your phone number, or removed one of your core services, Google has to be notified. This will reduce the frustrations that people may have with your brand when they see faulty information. Correct information will make them want to stick with your brand for longer.
Use Blog Content
Blogs are some of the best ways to promote your brand and establish a place in the market. Your blog will be a valuable source of information for your audience, and they can use what they learn to make better decisions for whatever they are trying to do. When it comes to SEO, a blog is a perfect place to store keywords and start a backlink connection. You can do some outreach marketing and connect with relevant websites so that you have a link flow going. Google prioritizes user experience above all else. This means that if people like to read your content and spend a lot of time on your site, the algorithm will take notice and promote your site accordingly. What’s more is that it can be used to build site authority, another highly valued metrics for Google.
Build Link Connections via Outreach
We have already touched on link building briefly on the previous section, and we will get into details here. You can look to partner with other local businesses or agencies that can help to create a link flow that promotes every site equally. For example, if you sell suits, you can write content about quality suits that offers both internal links to other content on your site as well as other fabric companies. It’s a win-win situation for both parties, as you will create a connection of links that promote both sides equally.
Connect with Local Media
Mainstream media such as TV and newspapers are slowly dying in major cities. However, the small town communities are still very much connected to their local gazettes and TV channels. A part of the reason why this is the case is that the small town communities are more closely related to their local news source. The old folks there still read their newspapers and watch TV rather than go on the internet to read about it. This is why local media remains so effective for businesses in these communities. If you are able to drum up some extra traffic to your site from the audience who doesn’t normally use Google, you’ll find that this will have a significant positive effect your SEO rankings.
Manage Online Rating
With the abundance of choice nowadays, consumers have become very picky with who they want to do business with. When they come across new business, they want to make sure that it’s a business that’s worth their time and money. The first place they will look is the online reviews and ratings, and they will base their decision of whether or not they should even click on the link based on this information. This is especially important in smaller towns, as there are fewer choices for the consumers and word gets around fast. If your average review is negative, everyone will know not to do business with you. You have to make sure you do all you can to manage these reviews and tend to your customers’ requests so that they’re all happy and leave good reviews for new customers to see.
If you don’t think SEO is important for businesses in small towns, you will quickly fall behind against your competitors. Small towns won’t stay small forever, and the internet will one day reach where it wasn’t able to reach before. This is why it’s better to prepare yourself for a change in the landscape sooner rather than later. The guide we’ve presented you with will give you a headstart on how to improve your SEO strategy, but the rest will be up to you to implement and manage.
Clayton Johnson specializes in local SEO services for SMEs & Enterprises, get in touch today to see how we can help.