If you’re looking for local SEO tips for small businesses, look no further. If you’re not sure what local SEO is, this is also the post for you.
As we mentioned in a previous post, there are really two kinds of search engine optimization: local SEO and national SEO. National SEO is the front page of Google, where you compete against the largest companies in the world for any keyword. Local SEO, on the other hand, is the way that Google ranks search results for keywords that are specific to a location. Whereas national SEO is very competitive and is very difficult, local SEO is within reach of many small businesses.
To help you make the most of your efforts to draw users within your region into your website, we present below 3 local SEO tips for small businesses.
Why Should You Care About Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses
Most of our clients are small businesses, and many of them struggle with SEO.
“When I search for the name of my business it pops right up!”
This is a common thing we hear from our clients when we introduce them to SEO. Searching for the name of your business is actually a poor indicator of your website’s SEO, however. Unless your business name is very common, most search engines will deliver your website if you search for the specific name of your website. If they don’t, you should worry, because that means you’ve been penalized by Google.
A better test, however, is to Google keywords that you think prospective customers will use to find your website. If you are a local realtor, for example, you might Google “realtors [your city] [your state].” Does your website show up in these search results? If so, where does it show up? Is it the top result? If not, how far is it from the top result?If your website isn't on the first page of Google, customers will go with another business. Click To Tweet
The following 3 local SEO tips for small businesses will help you learn more about how to improve the ranking of your website in search results.
Tip #1: Optimize for Ranking Factors (That Change)
The most difficult thing about SEO is that it is based on ranking factors. Ranking factors are the aspects of your website that are taken into consideration when search engines deliver search results to users. When someone uses a search engine to find information online, the algorithm that the search engine is built around delivers links that are judged to be the most relevant. A variety of factors affect the ranking of results users see.
When it comes to local SEO, these factors currently include:
- The completeness of your listing on Google My Business
- The extent to which other local online listings for your business include accurate information and link back to your website
- The extent to which appropriate local keywords and accurate business information is included within your website
- The quality and number of backlinks pointing to your website
- The quality and number of reviews of your business on Google
- How many connections and audience interactions your business has on social media
- How effective your website is at getting users to click on links to your website in search engine results
- The degree to which your website is personalized toward specific kinds of users
If you want to keep track of local search ranking factors, the best source of information is Moz’s yearly survey of these factors.
Tip #2: Include Location-Specific Keywords
Though all the above factors are important to pay attention to, one of the most important aspects of local SEO is location-specific keywords.
Consider the following two examples from our own website:
- “digital marketing agency”
- “digital marketing agency greenville nc”
The first keyword is a national keyword because technically anyone searching for a digital marketing agency in the U. S. might use this keyword. This keyword is thus very competitive and difficult to rank for.
The second keyword is limited to users searching for digital marketing agencies in or around Greenville, NC, the city in which we’re located. By using this location-specific keyword, we’re more likely to attract visitors to our website who are searching for local digital marketing agencies. This also means that we are more likely to get clicks from users who find us through searches, that our Google My Business page is more likely to show up as a result in the right-hand column of search results, and that any other local directories are more likely to link back to us.
Tip #3: Tell Users What You Want Them To Do To Increase Click-Through-Rates
If your website is showing up well in search results, but you can’t get people to click on the link to your website from search results, try reviewing the signals you’re giving visitors. Do you provide a clear value proposition for all links, starting with the link users see in search engine results? Do you provide clear calls-to-action in your meta-descriptions that describe why users should click on a link to your website? How do these signals compare to those of your competitors?
Improving the signals you give people who find your website in search engine results can help improve your click-through-rate, or the rate at which users click on links that lead to your website. Improving your CTR can demonstrate the credibility of your website to search engines and can thus improve your standing in search results.
Just Try To Get Better Over Time
There’s a reason they call it “organic SEO”: it grows over time. If you own a small business and find you’re not getting as much search traffic as you’d like, aren’t getting clicks, or just want to improve your SEO score, try optimizing your site using the above local SEO tips for small businesses.