Growing Beyond a Website: How Small Business Owners Can Gain More Local Attention With SEO
Savvy small business owners understand the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), and the best small business owners optimize more than just their websites.
Because 63% of searches happen on mobile devices, it’s safe to assume that your audience is on the go. This mobility also presents an interesting challenge, as 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphones visit a related business within a day.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why it’s important to show up for those local searches.
Local searches are also intentional searches. According to a study by HubSpot, 72% of consumers who performed a local search visited a store within five miles of their location. This highlights the importance of local searches in driving foot traffic to small businesses.
Our Best Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses
9 Clouds has been fortunate to work with dozens of small businesses from several industries. Here are our best tips for helping you show up where and when you’re needed online.
1. Claim and Optimize Google Business Profile (GBP)
Formerly known as Google My Business, GBP is a free tool that helps businesses show up in local search results.
Claim and optimize your GBP listing by providing accurate and up-to-date information about your business, including contact details, address, business hours, and photos. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your GBP page, as positive reviews can boost your visibility.
2. Maintain Consistent Information
Ensure that your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) information is consistent across all online platforms, including social media profiles and online directories. Consistency helps search engines verify your business’s legitimacy and improve your local search rankings.
3. Research Local Keyword Opportunities
Conduct keyword research to identify relevant local search terms that potential customers may use to find businesses like yours. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your online content, including social media posts and descriptions.
This helps search engines understand the geographical focus of your business and increases the likelihood of appearing in local search results.
4. Use Online Directory Listings
Submit your business information to reputable online directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Bing Places for Business. Directory listings provide valuable exposure and increase your visibility in local search results across a variety of search engines.
5. Manage Online Reviews and Reputation
Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and industry-specific review sites. Positive reviews not only attract potential customers but also influence search engine rankings.
Respond promptly to both positive and negative reviews to show that you value customer feedback and are actively engaged with your audience. Just like Taylor Swift, you too can transform your reputation for the better.
6. Create Localized Content
Create local-focused, high-quality content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. Share posts, articles, or guides that focus on local topics, events, or trends on your social media profiles.
This helps establish your business as an authority in the local community and attracts local customers.
7. Build Local Links
Build relationships with local businesses, organizations, and influencers to earn relevant mentions and referrals. Consider collaborating on local events, sponsoring community initiatives, or participating in local networking opportunities.
Local references signal to search engines that your business is trusted and respected within the local area.
8. Optimize Your Mobile-Friendly Presence
Mobile-friendliness enhances user engagement and can positively impact your visibility.
Optimize your online presence for mobile devices as more people use smartphones for local searches. Ensure that your social media profiles and content are mobile-friendly and offer a seamless user experience across different devices.
9. Engage on Social Media
Leverage social media platforms to engage with your local audience. Share updates, promotions, and valuable content that resonates with your target customers. Encourage followers to share and interact with your posts, expanding your reach and visibility within the local community.
10. Monitor and Analyze the Data
Regularly monitor your local SEO efforts using tools like social media analytics and online reputation management platforms (like our favorite, Birdeye). Track the performance of your online presence, customer feedback, and engagement metrics.
Analyzing this SEO data helps you identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to optimize your local marketing strategy.
By implementing these essential local SEO tactics, small business owners can increase their visibility, attract local customers, and gain a competitive edge in their specific geographic areas.
Remember to consistently optimize and engage with your online presence to maintain and improve your local visibility over time.
Ready to Show Up? Contact 9 Clouds!
We have more than a decade of experience with local SEO, and we’ve helped businesses in a variety of industries increase their local reach and visibility.
When you’re ready to gain some real traction, contact us for a free digital marketing proposal.Get Your Proposal »