SEO for Local Businesses: First 5 Steps

Depositphotos_38464677_originalSo, you know you should be doing SEO for your local business. But, you aren’t.

Or perhaps your search engine optimization strategy hasn’t been updated since it was acceptable to use techniques like keyword stuffing or hidden text. That’s okay. It’s never too late to begin using effective and up-to-date SEO tactics.

Many small business owners mistakenly believe that search engine optimization is too costly, or only words for major corporations. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s impossible to buy your way to the top of Google. The brands who win customers from search are those with a willingness to adapt to the latest best practices, which we’ve outlined below.

To learn more about the importance of SEO for local businesses, check out 5 Ways Social Media and Local SEO Build Value for Your Business.

1. Evaluate Your Web Design

A well-designed, attractive website doesn’t just affect your brand’s ability to win respect online. It could harm or help your ability to get customers through your doors. Some 43% of search queries have local intent, and an enormous percentage of these searches are conducted on mobile devices. Your site should perform well on both mobile devices and computers:

  • Load in 5 Seconds or Less
  • Include Clear, Intuitive Navigation
  • Offer Social Media Integration

To learn more, read 5 Ways to Design Your Website with Social Media in Mind.

2. Perform a Site Audit

If you’re not exactly sure what’s on your website, what you don’t know could hurt you. An SEO site audit can help you identify issues like duplicate content or missing meta data that’s ultimately hurting your site. A thorough evaluation should include:

  • Cataloguing of Current Site Pages
  • A Baseline Measure of Your Keyword Strategy
  • Evaluation of Meta Data
  • Installation of Google Analytics

3. Ensure Your Pages are Complete

Once you’ve performed an SEO audit to identify any existing issues with your site, your focus should be on optimizing your pages to rank as well as possible in search. Start with your most heavily-trafficked pages, which likely include your homepage and about us page. Ensure your pages include the following:

  • At Least 300 Words of High-Quality, Original Content
  • Visual Content to Enhance the User Experience
  • An Easy-to-Use, Mobile-Optimized Layout
  • Meta Descriptions

4. Begin Creating Content

As soon as you’ve gotten your website healthy, your job is far from over. Creating original content marketing on a regular basis can aid your site in building authority, earning higher search rankings, and establishing itself as a resource among your prospects and customers. In fact, business blogging is such an effective tactic, it’s currently used by 40% of organizations.

Social Media

5. Use Social Media Wisely

Social media has a 100% higher lead close rate than traditional forms of marketing. SEO for local businesses should include social media promotion, to help build site authority by boosting the brand’s social signals, and content exposure. Ongoing efforts to build a likeable social presence can significantly improve your site’s exposure and search rankings.

Are you currently using SEO for your local business? Share your wins and favorite tactics in the comments!