Local businesses are looking to capitalize on using search engines such as Google to drive traffic to their website and through their front door. Research has indicated that 60 to 70 percent of store purchases start with research online.
For a small business this is a massive opportunity to help grow your business with an effective local SEO campaign. Below are 5 strategies you can do today to start your local SEO campaign started and dominating your competition
1 – List your business in Google Places
List and verify your local business listing in Google Places is a fantastic place to start your local SEO campaign, without a listing you will find it difficult to place your business in the top positions on page 1.
2 – Complete your Google Place page listing
When filling in your listing, ensure you fill out your listing to Google guidelines and so that it is 100% complete. Here are some handy tips to help get the most out of your listing:
Address: This gives Google an indication of your geographical location so that they can relate your listing to searches. When completing your address include their suburb you are located in and the city name; a common fault is just to list the suburb. Including the city name in the address will help Google know you want to target your city and also help you by embedding part of your targeted search phrase (s) in the listing.
Categories: You have the option to include several categories that are related to your business. However, you only need to fill in the first category from the designated Google options. The remaining fields for categories can be used to fill with options that you may find more related or keyword rich.
3 – Get reviews
A massive factor in the way Google decides how to rank listings in Google Places seems to be the number of reviews a listing has. The more reviews, the better your changes are of being closer to the top. A great way to get reviews from current and past clients is ask for them in your electronic correspondence, eg, provide a link in an email newsletter or a link from your email signature.
Google will also use and display reviews from other review sites. A good way to find out what review sites Google is using in your industry is to do a few Google searches and take note of them. Now you know other review where you should list your business and ask customers to review you that will help in your local SEO.
4 – Build links to your website
Building links to your website is a necessary task if you want to see your website move up the search results page. There are many ways to complete this task and to do it yourself can be a little time consuming, but very rewarding when you achieve the results you want. To get the best results from your link building, it is a good idea to mix up the anchor text of the links that you build. They should range from keyword phrase rich links, products you sell, to your brand / business name. An important aspect of link building is to get the right anchor text pointing at the right landing page. For example, if one of the products you sell is blue widgets, it is advisable to build some links with the anchor text "blue widgets" and point them at your blue widget product page. This will inturn help you rank highly in the search engines when people search for "blue widgets".
5 – Build Links to your Google Place page
Just like building links to your website, it can be a good idea to build links to your Google Place page. This will give Google an indication that your listing and business is very relevant to the keyword phrases that you are targeting; making you the authority in your industry and geographical location.
By implementing the above 5 local SEO strategies you will be heading in the right direction to have your business listed at the top of the search results and boosting the exposure of your business to your local marketplace.