Do you run a small, local business and are actively looking to develop your business and rank higher in search engines? Detailed below are 7 steps you can take to get up the ranks.
There’s nothing better than seeing your business take off.
Once you’ve built a good following, you get to know the ‘regulars’ and get attention from additional sources locally such as the press where you really begin to see your business flourish.
Every business started somewhere. When running a small local business, the best path to achieving success is one that enables you to maximise where you’re located and builds relationships with local community members. Taking the right path with digital marketing can help you achieve just that.
Detailed below are seven things which you must do in order to dominate local SEO as a small business owner.
Have you ever been on the hunt for a business’ contact details and used Google to find them? Or, maybe just finding the address in which you’re heading?
Customers are doing this all the time. When you don’t have your NAP (name, address, phone number) accessible via an online search, it makes it much harder for them to find you. Recently relocated the business or changed your contact details? If you were to change your NAP, it is essential that you update this online in search engines, social media platforms and any other places where potential customers could find you. Failing to update these details could lead to customers not being able to get in contact, or worse, driving to the wrong location – both of which can lead to a loss of business through a simple, honest mistake.
How many landing pages are on your website?
Having a single landing page can be great, it may even look nice, but it doesn’t provide you with many paths for people to access or even find your website in the search engines.
A lot of small businesses tend to put absolutely everything possible about their business onto a single landing page which scrolls forever. Ever seen that before? In today’s day and age, people don’t have time to scroll, they want a solution to their problem there and then, not in 10 minutes time.
What you should do is build a separate landing page for each area of your business. For example, a homepage, about us page, products / services page(s) as well as a contact page. You want them to get in touch, right?
Another great source of traffic would be a blog. You can discuss areas relevant to your business and this would also help to drive additional traffic to your business through search engine listings.
When you’re setting up these pages, makes sure each page has a unique URL and make use of the search title and meta description tags – they help to tell your visitor what they’d discover on the page before they even click the link.
Once you’ve created all of your landing pages and optimised them for search engine listings, the next step is ensuring they’re all mobile-friendly. We recommend using a responsive design that adapts to fit all screens whether they’re as big as a desktop or as small as a smartphone.
Responsive websites are the way forward – it beats the old fashioned way of building a completely different site to accommodate for mobiles which would also have a negative impact on your SEO.
It’s always best to have all of your pages and information in a single place for search engine bots to crawl and users to interact with. To get the best results from your efforts, you need to make sure your website is fast too. The recommended load time is three seconds or less.
Anything above the three second threshold leads to a significant reduction in the user’s attention. Google is using load time as a factor when ranking sites as they think you wouldn’t be the best source for a user’s query. In simple terms, a slow site can damage your SEO rankings.
Benefitting from local SEO can be as simple as just stating exactly where your business is located.
You’re saying you run a ‘local’ business. That’s great, but where are you located? Local to you wouldn’t be local to people living even 10 miles away. Be as specific as possible when stating the location of your business – go down to the town and county in which you are based.
Whilst you may think these details are obvious, stating them is essential as the search engine bots don’t know who you are nor do new potential customers – many won’t even know you exist!
To get additional exposure within the local community, become more engaged in the local events. Become a sponsor for a local school, fair or event – even reach out to radio stations and press for a feature.
Whilst these don’t always directly link to SEO, they can make for great content and aid in bringing awareness to your business’ existence.
Leveraging the online presence of other local organisations is a great way to get your local SEO rankings up a bit higher.
When you begin to engage with your local community, people begin to talk about your business. When they start talking about you online, it becomes organic user generated content which is another bonus for the growth of your local SEO.
Whilst this can be great for your business, it is essential that you monitor this regularly to ensure that people are saying good things about your business. Keep an eye on the reviews in which you are left as well as any mentions you get on social media.
When you receive a great review, share it on your online platforms – it helps to build additional awareness and trust.
When it comes down to SEO, content is the most dominant factor. Maintaining a consistent flow of new, relevant content to your audiences online will help Google to understand you as a business. The best way to publish content to your visitors would be through a blog which can be located on your website. Again, one place for everything.
When you’re running a business, time flies by and you lose track of what you need to get done to help improve the business even further.
We get it, that’s why we want to help your business improve its rankings online.
We’re on hand to take care of your local SEO strategy so you can focus on the most important part, your business.
If you feel this could be of benefit to your business, contact us today to start getting your rankings on the way up.