Do you have a local business that needs some more web traffic? These days, your online presence is as important as the appearance of your storefront – even if you’re a hometown Mom and Pop shop.
The good news is, there are several local SEO tactics you can use to improve your website’s search engine results rankings. And you really should, because mobile phones are everywhere and most of them have web-browsing capability. So when a local customer is looking for more information about your business before he or she comes to your door – or is trying to decide whether to choose your business or your local competitor – you want to be as easy to find and attractive as possible online.
So use these local SEO tactics to help give your hometown business a boost:
- Add your company’s address and phone number to the title tag of your website’s home page
- If you have multiple locations, create a separate page for each location – and each location should have at least slightly different content from the others. (In other words, don’t use the same copy for all your locations and simply change the location name. Search engines don’t care much for cloned content.)
- Get your business listed on websites like AngiesList.com, Yelp.com, or some of these other local SEO citation sources. Local search is becoming more “social” in nature, so things like customer reviews and local business listings help your company stand out when local customers search for your services based on your location.
- Make sure your company name, address and phone number are current and consistent across your web presence – including social media pages, directories and other listings.
- If you’re a restaurant, music venue or theater, make sure to use the power of rich snippets . You can visit Schema.org to learn more about how to use the schema markup language to tell Google what your regular content types are (i.e. event listings, menus or reviews) so it can display your search results for those pages in a more eye-catching way.
- Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools, both of which can help you spot problems with your website – such as loading speed issues and errors that need correcting.
- Create an XML sitemap of your website, if you haven’t already, and submit it to your webmaster tools accounts at Google and Bing. And whenever you add new pages or update any of your URLs, resubmit that XML sitemap so the search engines will know to crawl and index those new pages on your site.
It used to be that the Internet was for online orders and the Yellow Pages were for finding a local business, but that’s certainly not the case anymore. Local SEO is every bit as important as your other SEO efforts and your local advertising – it just takes a few different tactics and strategies. Sure, the “tree surgeon in Memphis” might be a less competitive keyword than just “tree surgeon,” but when local customers are looking for the services you provide, you want to make sure they can find you right where you are – and that your online presence outshines the competition.