If you are a small local business, you might have heard about the strong benefits you can enjoy from local SEO. However, you might not have the marketing budget available for such a service, or feel that you want to give a go yourself, first.
Using the experts is definitely the best way to have the best local SEO results, but there are a number of things you can do yourself if you fall into either of the above descriptions.
If you have more time than money, carry out these actions to make your website a hit in your local area.
It is very easy to get lost in making sure your site is optimised and uses keywords and meta tags effectively, but the first thing to do is to simply concentrate on ensuring that you site is as clean, welcoming, and user-friendly as possible. The design should be slick, and the content clear and concise.
Your attitude to your website should be to have as much content as you need, but no more than is necessary. Remember, you’re a local business, not a Fortune 500 company.
Once you’re site at the right standard, you can start to focus on the local SEO aspects.
Once you’re ready to go you need to start seeking out those online business directories. Google+ Local – formerly Google Places – is your natural starting point, but you should also look at Bing, Yahoo, and other online directories such as Yell.com in order to list your business. Search out local business directories, too.
Include as much information as you can in these listings, including address, contact details, location, and anything else that you might be asked for, such as your industry or target market.
This sounds easy, and it is. However, you should take time and be very thorough, checking all spellings are correct and that all information matches on each directory. If you make a mistake at this stage, you could do yourself serious damage.
You cannot control what your customers say about you, so it is your responsibility to ensure that you are delivering excellent products and services so that any reviews are positive. Google, in particular, will give preference to businesses that have been subject to a number of reviews. Word of mouth is a great way to bring more people to your business. Ensure that everything written is positive; direct your happy customers to Google+ Local to review your business and attract others.
Head across to schema.org and you will find some great tips for making your website even more visible in the eyes of search engines. This is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, and best of all, people looking at your site won’t know you’re doing it unless they have viewed the source code.
Focus on your location, and watch your local search ranking soar!
Keep It Up
Ensure that you maintain a blog and a social media presence so that you are a ‘live’ entity online. Most of what you do will have an impact on your search visibility, so ensure you use your time to best effect and feel the benefits without paying out for a local SEO partner.
This Article is our first guest post here and was brought to you by local SEO specialist Bright Local.
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Local Business Website Design, SEO and Internet Marketing Blog
By "Shawn Lippert"