Local SEO for Small Business
As a small business owner, I know that ranking on search engines can sometimes (ok, oftentimes) get pushed to the back-burner. After all, you’ve got a business to run! As the owner, you’re probably used to wearing multiple hats and running in a dozen directions all at once just to keep things afloat. But local SEO for small business is well worth the time and effort you put into it. You may not be able to build dozens of links each week, but even one a day is going to add up over time.
Here are seven local SEO tips for 2018 to boost your business ranking in local search results.
Claim all your local business profiles
This is one of the easiest “wins” for local small businesses. Be sure you claim your local business listing on as many search engine listings as possible including Google My Business, Bing Places for Business and Yahoo Local Listings.
Not only is each business profile a great source of a quality link, it’s also important so users can easily find/contact your place of business. Mobile search is only getting more and prevalent, so these local business listings make it easy for customers to search for and find your business online.
Build partnerships with other local businesses
There is a big difference between a link exchange (which can effectively undermine the rest of your small business link building) and building partnerships with other local business that result in cross-promotion.
For instance, a B&B might have a business relationship with a few local restaurants or tour companies—they promote those other businesses as their “featured partners” on their site and recommend them to their guests.
The restaurants and tour companies do the same thing for the B&B. Each small business gets a link from the other which helps with their link building and local presence.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that there is a valid reason for those two businesses to be connected (unlike with a link exchange).
Comment on local and national industry blogs
Blog commenting is a great way to connect with bloggers (the first step in a blogger outreach program), have conversations with other business owners, build your personal brand authority AND get great links for your small business link building campaign.
Get a mix of local and national blogs under your belt so you can connect with a wider audience and keep your link building diverse. For instance, that aforementioned B&B could comment on national travel websites as well as local destination blogs.
Connect with local news outlets/reporters
Unless you’ve got a great story and hit the right reporter at the right time, most small businesses won’t get too much attention from the big local news source like the Boston Globe or Chicago Tribune. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little love from the smaller presses!
See if there are any local online news sources (like Patch.com) or community websites where you can get your small business listed in their local directory. These smaller news sites are also a great place to promote your business’s seasonal sales and use local SEO for small business to drive foot traffic.
For instance, the local B&B might be running a special deal for Valentine’s Day (such as roses and champagne in your room) and the local online news site could run a short story about that special, as well as the B&B itself. You get a link, targeted traffic and (hopefully) some new business!
Create Local Citations
We did covert this topic on one of our recent posts and you can find it here Local Website Citations. To keep it simple, you need to submit your business to local directories also known as creating citations. The most important part of creating citations would be to ensure your NAP i.e. Name, Address & Phone is consistent throughout every site. Some of the best local citation sites are:
Get Online Reviews
As a local business owner, the competition is stiff as customers always want to go for the best service provider and reviews help them simplify this decision.
Once you create local citations for your business it is also important for you to ask existing customers to submit a review for your business. I recommend getting as many reviews as you can for your business.
Reviews not only attract customers but also helps you grow your local search rankings on search engines. This can be considered as one of the strongest local SEO tips for small business.
Write 1 blog post each week and promote it through your social profiles
While traditional small business link building is important, it’s really content marketing that is going to propel your SEO campaign forward and have a lasting impact.
I know that most small business owners are incredibly busy (I’m a small business owner myself) and that writing a company blog is the last thing on their mind but it is well worth an hour or two a week!
Even if you can only write one blog post a week you’re giving the search spiders a reason to revisit your website, giving the search engines more content to index and pull for various search results and giving your target audience a reason to interact with your brand.
Also, keep in mind that every time a piece of content is shared on a social network is creating a social signal (much like a link) that tells the search engines your content is valuable.
I also recommend reading an article on Local business ranking to enhance your knowledge on Local SEO for small business.