SEO strategies are dynamic, always changing with time. This has necessitated the need for local businesses to optimize their on-site and off-site SEO strategies in a bid to increase visibility to prospective customers or clients who may be searching for them. With local competition growing, explained below are four important tactics on how to do local SEO.
Title and Meta Description Tags
Websites appear in search engine results as text showing the title and description tags of a web page. Since this is the first thing people see before clicking to a website, it is important for the title and meta description tags to clearly and concisely reflect on the website’s content. If the text is not adequately descriptive, unique, and compelling, then a site’s click-through rate will be adversely affected. Moreover, an excessive wording will cut the text using ellipses (…) giving it an unprofessional look. Therefore, ensure that each character counts by including the city or area that the business serves. Additionally, use one targeted keyword and place it as close to the tag’s beginning as possible.
It is important for business owners to have their businesses correctly and consistently listed on top business directories such as Yelp, Citysearch, and Merchant Circle. Furthermore, the listing should also extend to respectable local directories. Local newspapers and Chamber of Commerce are good places to look for these local directories. A simple online search with a mention of the city will also yield similar results. Additionally, businesses should make their name, address, and phone numbers (NAP) available on the major citation data aggregators such as Infogroup, Acxiom, Factual, and Neustar.
Google My Business
Local Businesses should claim their Google My Business page. Not only is it free, but it also offers significant exposure when the business appears in Google’s local three-pack. Optimization can be done with a solid description, business hours, categories, and types of payments among other key details. The logo, photos of the business, as well as products and services would not be amiss. All the relevant sections must be fully populated. To better the chances, Bing Places for Business is another essential place to seek a listing.
Online reviews by customers act as personal recommendations and businesses today have realized their importance. Several reputation marketing tools can be used in tracking and managing reviews such as Trust Pilot and Reputation Loop. In addition to this, some social media platforms like Tiny Torch and HootSuite allow users to monitor and get alerts whenever their brands are mentioned. Businesses should respond to all their reviews regardless of whether they are positive or negative. This goes a long way into showing that they care what their customers think.
A Business’s Google My Business page and Facebook page are two areas where owners should focus. Nearly everyone today turns to social media to view what their friends, family, or other customers thought about a business. Therefore, having good reviews on social media can be of tremendous help in drawing in prospective clients.