If you are a business owner in a large city, struggling to get ahead of your competitors is completely normal. SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is the process of enhancing your online content’s quality to make your business show up as a top result in a search engine. Increasing your local SEO can help you gain a competitive edge, boost your sales, and increase the online visibility of your business locally.
With so many businesses entering the local market every year, it is important to be searchable and reliable. If you want your business to grow and not miss out on the 97% local consumers who search online for local businesses, you must improve your local SEO. Here are five easy ways to do it:
1. Ask Your Customers For Reviews
Establishing a solid reputation is crucial for every business. Most customers get excited about a product or service but never post a review. It only takes a little time to tell them how much their reviews can help your business grow. If you have a physical store, post a small sign to inform your customers about your online presence, and tell your staff to encourage them to leave their reviews about your products or services. To minimize the hassle of getting them to post a review, you may also ask for their email address so you can lead them right to it without giving them the burden of finding your business’ profile.
Google suggests that getting positive reviews and ratings from customers can improve your search ranking. Search engines are more likely to give your business a spotlight if many people on their posts refer it.
Not only does the review make you rank better, it also helps your business page gain credibility with future customers. Through this, more people will recommend your products or services. Avoid giving incentives to customers for reviews as it is a bad practice and may result in your business being penalized. Do your best to satisfy your customers so that they will be willing to post positive reviews even without your encouragement.
2. Complete Your Business Profile
Putting up information on your business’ website is not enough. You have to create and verify your business profile on a search engine. Many business owners are not aware of this, but the information that will be presented will not come from the website.
For example, when you search for “a coffee shop near me” on Google, you will see a map together with the information on shops listed in the results such as the name, contact number, and address. These details are from the shops’ Google My Business Profile Pages.
If you have set up your business profile in the past, do not forget to remove it because search engines hate duplicate content in their search results. This may affect your rank, so use tools like Moz Local tool to find duplicate listings.
When setting up your profile, add relevant categories to see your business in more sections. You can also check the categories used by other local businesses and use the same ones.
3. Engage In Social Media
Having a social media page is a standard expectation for businesses. It is a great way to get exposure and gain local followers. It also allows you to communicate with your customers directly. On your page, you can update them about your products, discounts, and upcoming events.
So how does social media affect your SEO? Search engines like google will pull search results from them. It can be a good way to stay in front of your audience. It is also important to check the consistency of the information that you provided on your social media pages, websites, and business profile page.
4. Acquire Relevant Backlinks
Backlinks, also known as incoming links, are links created when a website links to another. These websites could be publications, industry listings, or local newspapers. Search engines will consider your business’ website to be more reliable when you have backlinks from reputable sites.
Backlinks can help you increase your SEO. Obtaining them will require time and effort, but the results will be worth it. To gain the trust of influencers, you will have to manage your content and make sure they are of very high quality.
Another way to earn backlinks is to look for websites that contain broken links. Contact the webmaster about it and offer your page as a substitute.
Here are more ways to build links to your website:
- Get your business listed in online directories.
- Publish quality content more often.
- Analyze which websites have backlinks of your competitors’ websites and find out how you can gain similar links.
- Get backlinks from your partners and sponsorships.
5. Enhance Your Online Content
Unique, informative, and entertaining content will not just get you loyal customers but will also improve your local SEO. Underestimating the importance of having a good content can damage your business more than you might expect. Publishing content consistently and using relevant keywords can help you expose your business to more customers and increase your search ranking.
Creating local content like articles that focus on serving your local customers is an excellent strategy to establish your business in a local sense. Google prioritizes local content over national content, so by taking a local focus, you are more likely to top the search results.
Improving your local SEO will require you to invest so much time and effort. If you are determined to do what it takes to grow your business, the results will surely be worth it. Take your first step today and get ready to feel proud and satisfied when you see your business in the top rankings!