Even after a small business gets over the initial start-up hump, there is a lot of work to be done to reach success. Without exposure, many business owners find themselves fighting a losing battle against better known companies. The best way to give your business the strength and customers it needs is through well executed local SEO.
Local SEO is vital to garnering the attention and interest needed to thrive. People want to know that a business they are considering is worth their effort, and they will look to the internet to find out. Having your foot in the door at various popular local venues, with the community in general, and even with local bloggers can give you credibility. For local exposure, you find your best bet inside your community, online and off.
Here are five ways your small business can use local SEO to gain market share:
Build and Edit Citations
Online references to your business’s name, address, and phone number are called citations. Citations are an important aspect of your SEO journey, and to your business as a whole. Building the list of online directories that list your information can be made easier with tools like Yext and Whitespark, but you can also go through manually and make an impression yourself. Keep your data consistent! Write the information out in a document so that you can easily refer to it or copy/paste across the board.
Check to see where you are already listed and update those citations for accuracy. Top citations like Google, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Bing, and more should be your first (but not only) priority. Wherever you aren’t listed, add your correct business information. While it can be a tedious process, abundant and accurate citations are an essential step for local SEO.
Joining local groups and events is a surefire way to get local exposure. Try to optimize your time by joining local groups that are at least somewhat similar to your own business, or at least have members who could spread the word. This works wonders for local SEO when paired up with the websites and newsletters of local groups; you can link your site or list your business directly.
Everyone loves a teacher! Depending on your field, mentoring students or even adults can be a worthy venture. Teaching a class on baking when you’re a baker, for instance, sets you apart as a credit to the practice. You gain respect and plenty of exposure with the parents, or adults themselves, that sign up (and, of course, your links and business named in local papers are excellent advantages for local SEO).
The importance of a highly optimized site cannot be stressed enough. Your site ties all the other tips together. Any links, even from directories, that lead to your site are going to cause a great impact on your local SEO ranking. Have something professional and easy to navigate to offer when prospective clients click your links.
Testimonials and reviews are also important, offering plenty of information on the quality of service your provide. The more prominent a reviewer is in your local community, the better the exposure. Offering discounts for reviews and similar rewards is a great way to pull honest opinions to your site, giving you credibility.
Above all, be proud of your small business! Link to your site and social media whenever it is appropriate (including in comments you make on any site). When you’re out and about, ask other local businesses if you can leave a few dozen business cards with them so people can pick them up on the way out. There are even plenty of blogs that would be willing to review your items or services if asked. Being shy about your hard work is never a viable marketing strategy.
Generating genuine interest and gaining market share takes a bit of work, but is ultimately worth it. Optimizing local SEO places your business at the forefront, giving you the best exposure hard work can offer!
Trulium offers an array of Local SEO options. Each of our plans is completely custom and catered to the needs of your business. Contact us for more information or to get a quote!