SEO for small business website and owners is not that difficult.
The local search visibility can be improved by focusing on things like local keywords, NAP on the website, website content, Google+ Local Page, schema tags, local citations, customer reviews, and quality backlinks.
It is the process of optimizing your small business website so that it appears in the top local search queries related to your area / city / country.
Local SEO works best for businesses that have local operations in one or more locations.
As a small business owner, you need to let Google know where you are located and what you have to offer so you’re not only showing up on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) more frequently, but you’re showing up in front of the eyes of a very relevant audience.
MOZ Local highlights the following stats to give small businesses an idea of how often consumers are searching locally:
- 4 billion desktop queries in the US have “local intent”
- More than 50% of mobile searchers have “local intent”
- Almost 15-20% of all searches are mobile
What they were then able to extrapolate is that there are approximately 7 billion unique local searches per month on Google in the US alone.
Why Should I Optimize for Local Small Businesses?
- To pursue higher exposure in Local Organic Results
- To get listed in the Local Pack Results
- To get included in the Local Carousel
- To have your own Google Map Pin
- To have your own Local Knowledge Panel
How is Local Small Business SEO different than General SEO
The local search algorithm for is different from the general search algorithm.
Local SEO results are the fastest way for local businesses to get placement in search engine results pages. Small business seo services works best for businesses that have local operations in one or more locations.
Should all Small Business needs Local SEO?
Local SEO is for businesses who are trying to pull in customers from the immediate area seeking for goods and services they are offering.
For local search, Google has released a new algorithm Pegion to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals.
Following are some of the examples of Local search queries:
- San Diego Air Conditioning Repair
- Dentist in Newyork
- Florist in Denver
What are the benefits of Local SEO for Small Business?
Increase your chances of appearing high in the SERPS. Small Businesses that are chosen to appear in Google search results (including Google Places for Business listing) are more likely to receive more visits than websites that don’t appear.
1) More conversions – There is a high rate of conversion since visitors coming to the website from local search are highly targeted.
2) Brand Visibility and awareness – More people searching for businesses in your area will know about your existence and this will make your brand more recognizable and also raise awareness’s about your business.
3) High return on investment – An optimized website for local search can generate more value to a business since all they want is to get customers searching the web for businesses in their area.
This generates a high return on the investment made and potential higher growth than companies who don’t take advantage of this.
Steps to Optimize your Small Business for Local Search
Focusing your efforts on optimizing your Google+ local page can lead to higher rankings in the local pack results, inclusion in the local carousel, having your own pin in the local pack map, having your own local knowledge panel
Tips to Optimize Local Google+Page for Small Business
- Verify your local page
- Having your company profile 100% complete
- Use your official Business Name (and make sure that it is consistent with the name used on your website)
- Create a detailed company description over 250 words if possible
- Make sure that the NAP (Name, Address, & Phone) on your local page is consistent with the NAP on your company website (All of the web mentions of your business should be NAP consistent).
- Have a physical address in the city you want to rank for.
- If you list a mail box or suite number, place it in the Address Line 2.
- If you are a doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, tour operator, interior designer, eletrician, plumber, car mechanic, or paino teacher you can create separate practitioners local pages from the official company local page with your distint phone number and working hours.
- If you are having a hotel, travel agency, restaurant, retail store, real estate agency, beauty salon, maid service, agency, locksmith, or moving company you can also have a seperate local page.
- If you provide services at the clients’ location then hide your physical address by selecting option “i deliver goods and services to my customers at their location”.
- Select relevant category for your local business
- If you have a single location – link to the home page of your website.
- If you have multiple locations – link to the location specific page on your website.
- Claim and delete all duplicate local pages of your business
- Encourage your customers to leave your local page reviews
- Regularly update your local page with images, videos, etc.
- Report to Google spammy local pages in your industry to clear unfair competition.
- Use a local phone number instead of a call center number.
Focusing your efforts on optimizing and building citations for small businesses local citations will lead to higher rankings in the local pack results. Higher exposure in local organic results.
Building Local Citations for Small Business
- Ensure NAP consistency between your citations, local page and website.
- Select high quality sources for your citations.
- Select niche specific (relevant to your industry) websites.
- Select area specific (relevant to your service location) websites.
- Claim and edit all citations of your business that have a wrong NAP.
- Remove all duplicate citations of your business from the data aggregators.
- Select the most relevant business category when listing your company.
- Before you create new citation on a website, check if your business has already been registered there.
- Add as much useful business related information like images, photos, and company description when creating citations.
- Check where your high-ranking competitors are listed and follow their lead.
90% of people who read online reviews claim that positive reviews influenced their buying decisions.
Focusing your efforts on gathering online business reviews will lead to high-rankings and review snippets in the local pack results and adding review snippets to your website in the local organic results.
Getting Customer Reviews for Small Business
- Encourage your clients to post a review on your Google+ local page.
- Check which of the websites that host your business citations welcome customer reviews and encourage your clients to review your business there.
- After completing a project, don’t forget to ask your client for a review.
- Print out special handouts with visuals on how your customers could leave a review and where.
- Try to attract top views in your niche to review your business.
- Reply to your reviews even if negative. Stay in touch with your customers.
Focusing your efforts on optimizing your website will lead to higher ranking in local organic results and local pack results.
On-Site Optimization Tips for Small Business Website
- Ensure NAP consitency with your local listing and citations
- Create location specific pages
- Describe specific local sights, attractions, history, festivals, events, etc
- Use local reviews as local specific content
- Write about your local company team
- Include contact details, directions, working hours, where to park & towing service info
- Include photos and mention the specific location in their file names and alt attributes.
- Embed a Google Map associated with local page on your location landing page or on your contact us page (If you have a single location).
- Optimize your site content, title tags, meta tags, and urls for the specific location (If you cover several locations do not optimize for all the locations throughout your website, but focus on the most profitable one instead)
- Use schema.org to markup yout NAP, hours of operations, and reviews.
- Use location and a keyword in your location landing page.
Focusing your efforts on having quality backlinks will lead to higher rankings in local organic results and local pack results.
Local Link Building Tips for Small Business Website
- Building Links with Awesome Photography
- Building Links by Making Something Awesome for your Community
- Building Links by Featuring Others in your Community
- Building Links with Local Travel Guides
- Building Links with Neighborhood Sites
- Building Links with “Local Scene” Sites
- Building Links with Daily Deals Sites
- Building Links with Patch.com and IYP Sites
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