How Businesses Can Do Local SEO for Themselves
Local business owners are usually busy people because they spend a lot of the day very “hands-on” consulting with clients or helping customers. They may have a website, but unless it’s optimized for search, that website is not bringing in leads for new business.
Your Website Doesn’t Cut It!
Surprisingly, many people believe that if they simply get a website, that’s it! A few months ago, I got a phone call from a client a week after I created her a brand new website with a brand new domain. She said, “my website is not working!”. I panicked and my first thoughts were “Oh no!, what did I not set up? Has the server gone down? What does she mean?” She had my undivided attention; I was ready to listen and act accordingly and with urgency. The words that followed made me smile and I had to suppress myself from letting out a chuckle. She said: “I have not got any sales yet!”
“No, you don’t have any sales yet, nor will you ever” I replied. Yes, it seemed harsh but I needed to stop her in her tracks and for her to hear me out. I did say it nicely mind you.
I went on to explain just as I did in the initial consultation that I had with her when she decided that she ONLY wanted a website and nothing else. I said, “Nobody can find you. It doesn’t matter if you spend $5K on a website or $50K on a website. If no one can find you then no one will come.”
Imagine if you moved house but you didn’t give your address to your family and then you wonder why you are sitting all alone on Thanksgiving!
Website traffic does NOT just happen when you create a website, you have to “put yourself out there”.
If you have a website and just want it for your email signature, business cards and your business premises signage then fine. If you want people to find you who do not know you exist yet, you can pull in traffic from the following sources…
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Paid Ads
- Referral Traffic
- Social Media Traffic
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO for small businesses is the same as SEO work for national and global businesses but you are targeting your local demographic. Local businesses can only give their services to people who are within a reasonable distance of them. If your practice is in Long Island, web traffic from California is not much use.
Why is Local SEO for Small Businesses so Important?
A well-rounded and balanced combination of online marketing methods is good but the first thing any local business should do is their basic Local SEO. Without the bare essential activities, you’ll miss out on a lot of local search traffic. Search traffic can be high quality and targeted. If you are a holistic dentist located in NYC and someone in NYC googles the keyphrase “holistic dentist NYC”, You want to be there on the page one results! If the potential customer clicks through to your website and sees that you are indeed a holistic dentist near them, that is a very high quality and targeted website visitor.
What Do You Need To Do?
Here are the basic things you need to do to ensure Local SEO on your website.
1. Google My Business set up (Now Google Business Panel)
2. Ensure your address is on your website
3. Ensure that you mention local areas in your content
4. Geotag your images
5. Mention local things and local areas in your routine blogs occasionally
6. Ensure that at least one of your main pages has your location mentioned within your Meta Tag Title and Meta Tag Description
7. Citations (this will help you build backlinks too)
If you do these few things you’ll do well.
Finding a Local SEO Service Provider
SEO – Local, national or global can be a time consuming and laborious venture. There is the option of outsourcing this part of your business to a specialist company. However, beware! There are many charlatan people and companies out there offering local SEO for small business services, so be sure to find a company with a proven track record thast is not afraid to show you case studies that you can follow up on. Ask them to clearly break down their proposed activity and how they intend to report their work and their progress.