How to Use Local SEO for Your Business by @danafiddler

by Dana Fiddler | Featured Contributor 

If you own a brick-and-mortar business, it’s time you implement a local SEO strategy! Local SEO is when Google and other search engines provide specific search results to a user depending on their geographical location.

For instance, ever notice that when you are in a certain city if you search for something like “best ice cream” your search results will contain ice cream parlors for the area you are in, even if you didn’t specify?

How do You Optimize for Local SEO?

If you’d like your business to show up in local searches, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. Today, we are going to discuss the first steps you can take!

Set up “Google My Business”

If you want your business to show up in a listing like the one below, you will need to register for a free “Google My Business” account.

Google shows this listing for searches for and related to your business, so even if someone doesn’t search up your business name, you still have a chance of being featured in this prime real estate!

Contact Page

A good contact page will help Google and other search engines identify where your business is located. The information you want to include on your contact page is:

  • business name
  • phone number
  • address
  • email

Your email and phone number should be clickable so that when someone clicks them, they are able to either call you straight from your website or send you an email.

This also improves the user-experience of your website, so it should be done regardless if you plan on implementing a local SEO strategy or not.

Add Your Business Listing to Review Websites and Directories

Websites such as Yelp, Facebook, the Yellow Pages and Google my business can help search engines determine your location, and they can also boost your rankings if you have amazing reviews.

In regards to review websites, you should try encouraging your customers to leave reviews. The easiest customers to start getting reviews from are your current customers. You can simply contact them letting them know that you’re working on building up your testimonials, and would love if they left their honest thoughts on your Google business account.

Build Your Backlinks

As with any SEO strategy, backlink building is crucial. Backlinks, which are links from other reputable websites linking to yours, will help Google trust your website and can greatly improve your rankings!

When developing a localized SEO strategy, it helps to have your backlinks coming from local sources. Some ideas for local backlinks includes:

  • getting a link in a local publication such as an online news outlet or newsletter
  • reaching out to local bloggers and asking for reviews on their blogs
  • doing interviews with local publications
  • sponsoring a local event and getting your website linked to from the event’s webpage

Add Keywords To Your Pages

Finding keywords to add to your website can be done through keyword research which is a process of finding the most appropriate keywords that you can easily rank for.

When trying to appear in local search, you will need to also add local search terms to your website copy. These search terms should first be added to your primary landing pages such as your homepage and primary product or service pages.

For example, if you are an ice cream parlor in Los Angeles, you’d want to include the keywords “ice cream in Los Angeles” throughout the content on your site.

In Conclusion

You can begin a solid local SEO strategy by:

  • setting up Google My Business
  • revamping your contact page
  • adding your website to review sites such as Yelp
  • adding your website to local directories such as the Yellow Pages
  • encouraging customers to leave online reviews
  • building your backlinks
  • adding local keywords to your homepage and other main landing pages

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