Local SEO should be a priority to all, but especially for small businesses. In many cases, small businesses operate on a local or regional level and need attention from people close to them. They often also have to compete with mega-companies that have quasi-infinite marketing budgets.
However, local SEO is what could allow you to get an edge against them. Local SEO could also do more for brand recognition than any marketing technique you can use.
Here are a few tips you can use to increase your local visibility with search engines in 2021.
Claim Your Google My Business Account
It all starts with having a Google My Business account. Google doesn’t automatically list businesses in its directory. You will need to do the work and make sure that the information is accurate. Know that there are things that you can do to optimize your listings as well.
Once you get a GMB, the information in it will be used in your business profile, Google maps, and the search knowledge panel.
Make Sure that Your Information is Consistent
Next, you have to make sure that you check all the places where your name, address, and phone number are listed. This is often referred to as your NAP in SEO terms.
This is a simple, but very important part of local SEO. If your contact information is conflicting right now, then you will end up confusing search engines and it will hurt your rankings.
Make sure that you check your social media pages, your Google My Business profile, and your website and make sure that all the contact information is consistent. Next, start looking at major directories and review sites. Correct the information everywhere that you can.
Work with a Local Team
If you’re oblivious to local SEO or SEO in general, we would suggest you speak with an expert team first. Everything you do now will have an effect on your rankings, and, unless you know what you’re doing, you’ll either waste your time on things that aren’t working or actively hurt your listings.
We also suggest that you work with a team in your area. They will understand the nuances of your local market better. They’ll also know where your brand needs to appear to get added visibility and craft a content creation strategy that will connect with local audiences.
If you need SEO services in Lancaster, we would suggest you work with a team like LNP Media Group. They will allow you to increase your visibility both at the local and global level and work out a strategy with you. They will also be able to look at your current efforts, see what you may be doing wrong, and help you make the proper correctives.
Get Local Brand Mentions
You should also make sure that you do everything in your power to disseminate your brand at the local level. Brand mentions are very important, and they don’t necessarily need to be linked in order to give you SEO benefits.
You can decide to let them grow organically, or be more aggressive. Press releases are a great way to get your brand name out there, but it’s always better when you let other people make mentions for you.
One of the best ways to do that is to get active on social media. You have to make sure that you approach it with a giving attitude. Your first goal should be to provide value. When clients get something valuable from a brand, they want to share it. This is when you will start to generate mentions virally and naturally.
Get Listed in Local Directories and Publications
The next step is making sure that you’re visible in local directories and publications. Local directories will give you more local SEO juice then generic ones. If you’re going to be listing with a generic directory, make sure that it’s one that is related to your business.
You should also try to get your name published in local publications or media. One of the ways to do so is to get involved in the community. Again, you want to do so in the spirit of sharing.
Events and sponsorships are great ways to do so. One of the reasons why businesses hold sweepstakes is for publicity. They know that the stories of winners will always be tied to their brands. This is why you want to start being a name in your community and not only for your business.
Special events are a great way to create brand awareness and give people something to talk about, which will also increase your brand mentions. You’ll also start building a good name for yourself which will help you get more attention.
Ask for Reviews
The number of reviews you have and their rating will also make a big difference in how high your business will be in local search results. This is why you need to do as much as you can to generate reviews from your clients.
There are plenty of ways that you can do this. The best way to do so is to try to collect as much information on your loyal clients and follow up with them. If you can get their email addresses, you will then be able to ask them directly for a review of your service.
If you want to get their address, what you could do is set up an email capture form on your website along with an incentive to sign up. Alternatively, you could set up a loyalty program. A loyalty program is great as you’ll be able to get your clients’ contact information and know that they are regulars. This usually means that they have a favorable view of your business.
You also have to take steps to correct any bad reviews you may have gotten before. If you have a lot of them, you first have to listen to what people had to say. You have to look at ways that you can improve. One of the ways that you can do this is to look at top rated competitors and see what they’re doing that you aren’t.
Maybe people are complaining about quality, after care service, or prices. These will all be things you’ll be able to correct immediately when comparing with the competition.
When answering complaints, make sure that you are sincere in your responses and don’t shift the blame. Use unique answers for everyone and truly dedicate yourself to change. From now on, make sure that you constantly work on improving while populating your listing with fresh new reviews.
Know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking people for Google reviews either. Google actually encourages it; you just can’t provide an incentive for positive reviews.
Use Local Search Terms
You also want to use as many local search terms as naturally possible in your content and on your website. Look at query terms and add them as well. These will give you attention when people make voice searches which often happen to be queries and local in nature.
Dominating local SEO is something that is possible if you take the right steps and have the right strategy. Working with a professional team could also help boost your results.