Your Guide to Local SEO for Your Business
Updated November 21, 2023
Local SEO can be a powerful tool for a small business. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to increase brand awareness in the local community and target new people within your customer base. Optimizing your business website for search means that people who are searching for services like yours in the local area will see your business come up in search.
Ideally, you want to be one of the first three search results. Many companies hire an SEO agency to make this happen, but there may be some SEO work you can do in-house, like creating content or adding your business to Google Maps. Follow these steps to improve your company’s local SEO.
Google has replaced the Google My Business app with Google Maps and Search, which integrates business information like name, address, and phone number (NAP) into the Maps app. Add your business to the Maps app and make sure your information is correct.
SEO is just as much about building connections and networking online and in real life as it is about making arcane technical adjustments. Your business should be on popular social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. You can engage with customers there, share content that can reach a wide audience, and create a backlink to your website. It’s another opportunity to get your business information in front of a wider group of people – some people only engage with the internet through social media and they search social media for local businesses the way others will search Google or Yahoo!.
If there are discrepancies in your NAP or other business information across different directories and websites, that’s going to create a problem for SEO. It makes your business look less credible. Check with map data aggregators Factual, Express Update, Foursquare, and Neustar Localeze to make sure your business information is consistent across mapping sites like Yelp, Apple, Trip Advisor, and Google.
Start by doing an audit of your on- and off-page SEO, to see where you can make improvements. You may want to get an agency offering Phoenix SEO services involved at this stage, because there’s a lot that goes into good SEO – it isn’t just a matter of using the right keywords. Use Google Search Console to identify issues with your site’s performance in search, and fix them.
On-page, you should make sure your title tags, meta data, headers, content, and URL are optimized for search. Keyword research will be necessary, whether you’re able to do it yourself or you bring in an SEO agency. Each piece of content you post on your site should be optimized for search by working high-value keywords into the title, headers, and content body.
Sharing useful content that creates value for users is one of the best ways to boost your SEO. When visitors to your site engage with your content, spend a lot of time on your site, comment on your message boards or blog posts, share your content, and so on, your SEO improves. These things show search engines that users believe your site is valuable and that your business is authoritative.
Plus, adding new content to your website, through a blog, for example, gives you infinite opportunities to use more relevant SEO keywords on your site and improve your internal linking structure. The more content you create, the more visitors you’ll get, and the more customers, especially if your content is optimized to target local search.
Building backlinks is one of the social aspects of local SEO – you need to network with other small business owners in your area, as well as blog owners, publications, chambers of commerce, and professional organizations that could all link back to your website. Building backlinks can be a long game, but it can show your authority in your field and improve your SEO.
Participating in your community will help you generate press about your business, and that can improve your SEO as well as reaching new potential customers who read the newspaper. Sponsoring a local event, collaborating with a local charity, encouraging your staff to volunteer in the local community, or funding a scholarship for local youngsters could all be ways to generate positive press and SEO through backlinks and increased authority.
Local SEO is perfect for targeting people in your community who might be interested in your small business. It can help established customers find your location again and again, and it can even help you build a community online based on your brand. Boost your local SEO, and see how much more business you can bring in.