Businesses that have a physical location need local SEO. This holds true if you have a restaurant, a clinic, a law firm, a medical practice or even an ad agency. For local search engine optimization, you must create and claim a local profile on Google and other search engines. Your local listing will show up for localized search results. Then you need a citation or any place online that uses your company NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) all on the same page and in a format same as your local listing. The format needs to be identical in your citation and your local listing. Another important ingredient of local SEO is reviews. The number of good reviews for your business has a huge impact on your local ranking.
Avoiding SEO Pitfalls
Local businesses should stop wasting their energy on manipulating their keywords and look at the quality of their content. There are some red flags that must be avoided at all costs. Let’s look at some of these mistakes that businesses make.
- Insufficient content in Home page. Home page is the landing page for the audience and if the home page has less or no content it’s time to start working on getting more content into the homepage.
- Few sentences on a page. The audience wants more and more details and so would be looking for comprehensive information on every product. So it is not enough to just add a few keywords.
- Keyword overkill. This is a mistake many businesses make. They start using more and more keywords and kill the content with nothing but keywords. This is an over kill and would not work in the current scenario.
- Bad title tags. Title tags only cover a certain length and so it’s important that title tags give quality information instead of just pushing keywords into it.
Local SEO Strategies to Adopt
- Including city/ state in the title tag is important. The first title tag should talk about the city and the street. This helps when there is a geographic search.
- Including city and state in the heading. The city and state need not be part of the full content; however, it should be present at least once in the content and the more it is on the heading the better.
- Optimizing local content would not be of much use if the city and state are not mentioned in the content. This is a basic fact and needs to be covered well.
- Using Alt text with images. Image search would be incomplete without adding Alt text to it. This helps Google search the images better based on local locations.
- If possible, add city and state in the URL. This gets better visibility with the link generation and so it is best if you include this in your URL.
Some Aspects to Consider
Many local companies start their business websites but do not give it much thought. Here are a few things any local business can do to use available resources and get the most of it.
- Get a basic website up and running – This is when the business doesn’t need anything big to get noticed, and is the time when they should use their resources well.
- Invest in a simple SEO tool – Get a simple SEO tool that offers keywords and also analytics on the traffic and helps to look at any competition. This becomes very important if an SEO company cannot be hired.
- Pay students to write content – Students would be a good source for content and should be able to deliver content fast.Now getting keywords is simple. If an SEO tool is purchased, this would give the apt keywords. These keywords can then be provided to the content team who can work on developing good content. The important thing is the quality of the content. Ensure that you have this for your business website.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews – Ask customers about a satisfactory experience or make suggestions in your newsletter.
- Work with local businesses – Sometimes one business may not have the capability of getting all the SEO optimization done on creating a website. This is when many businesses in one location can get together and start working on creating a website. The content of the website may be same and post that each business should get one page or few pages for their business. This would help in saving cost and techniques.
There are SEO guides available that can guide you to implement local SEO. Or if you have money to invest, the better option is to go for the services of a SEO outsourcing company. In this case, the company would take care of all aspects of search engine optimization required for your website.