Welcome to episode 20 of Blue Square SEO & Online Marketing Podcasts. In this episode I talk about a local SEO guide with five simple strategies and tips on how to get your business to show up on Google first, above your competitors. Getting your more customers, clients or patients!
For local small businesses, there is nothing more important than dominating local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and ranking in Google Maps (also known as the Google 3 Pack). And above your competition! Being able to get local traffic, both through the door if you have a brick and mortar shop or store, or online, is far greater targeted than those businesses that just sell online. A crucial SEO strategy for local businesses is to concentrate on local keywords and phrases that include the cities and towns that your business serves.
How about some stats from Bright Local to give you a little perspective?
This says a whole lot about local search and it should get you excited about taking a piece of this gigantic pie. Now, let us see the different ways you can do just that.
You can find more local SEO stats in an infographic we created Local SEO in 2020 Infographic. Still very relevant today.
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Blue Square SEO and Digital Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Paul Birkett, from Blue Square Management, and in today’s podcast I’m going to be talking about 5 local SEO tips on how to dominate local rankings.
As a small brick and mortar business, there is nothing more important than dominating local SEO and Google Maps. Your traffic is much more targeted than online retailers with national customers. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of focusing your search engine optimization strategy on keywords and phrases that involve cities you serve. If you are not convinced that dominating local SEO should be a part of your online marketing strategy, listen on.
Optimizing for local search can increase your online and offline traffic tremendously if you play your cards right. Here are the 5 simple steps to take:
People will not know that you are a local business if you do not let them know. In search engines that have indexed your business, you want to ensure that you are categorized as a local business. First, you need to claim your Google My Business page (also known as GMB) and then classify your business as a local one.
You should then optimize the page by including all the information needed for your profile, including:
Avoid spamming your page because Google frowns upon this and will not hesitate to penalize you by suspending your listing.
Discover more about GMB in this Beginners Guide To Google My Business podcast.
If you have different listings around the web, you want to make sure that they all have the same information. This will make your small business seem more reliable and trustworthy.
Check all of your listings to make sure they contain the same business name, address and phone number (this is also known as your NAP), as well as descriptions.
If you have recently moved locations or switched phone numbers, update these as soon as possible. The feel of your listings should also resemble one another, so that it helps to establish you as a brand and gain you recognition for it. Google does not like to showcase profiles of businesses that are closed or have indications of a changed owner or data discrepancies.
Remember, this is about drawing in traffic, as well as building your online image. The more listings you have pointing back to your Web site, the better your rankings will be, and ultimately, your traffic and conversion rates.
The business listings, directories, and citations you create online are not going to be the only ones that you have to worry about. Other databases will pick up your listings and you will have to find these to make sure that the information contained on those listings are up to date. You will first have to claim that the business is yours and then you will be able to make adjustments to the listing.
You can get this started by adding your business listing to the top five local directors, which include:
Then list in directories that are industry specific. Take time to build up your listings on a regular basis and search for those you have yet claimed.
The larger your network of listings, the better your search engine ranking will be for related keywords. Allowing you to dominate your local market.
You can learn more about why local listings and directories are important with regards to local SEO in this podcast ‘Why Local Listings & Directories Matter‘
The business listings you have on search engines and social media will need to be optimized with relevant keywords. Simply having your listings all over the place is not going to be sufficient. Not if you want to dominate local SEO for your market. Choosing the right keywords can be confusing but can be done with a bit of research.
If you have not already, you should implement Google Analytics, and Google Search Console so you can have a bird’s eye view of how your customers, clients or patients are finding your website. You will see the search terms they are using, which can then be used for your listings. You can also try thinking of what people are likely to be typing into search engines to find what your business offers. A bit of brainstorming and A/B testing can go a long way.
Just make sure that the keywords you choose are not too competitive. Check out the key phrases you plan to use using tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest before making your decisions. The longer your key phrases are, the less competitive they will be. This is why local SEO isn’t too difficult to dominate and rank highly for. Simply add different city names to key terms that are already specific and you have yourself a longtail keyword.
A great example is ‘SEO company’, which is too generic compared to ‘seo company in orpington’ or ‘digital marketing agency orpington’. It is much easier to rank in the local 3 pack (Google Maps), as compared to regular organic search results. Here is an example:
If there is anything search engines hate, its stale content. After you have taken the steps I have already mentioned, you will have to keep your local business relevant to search engines and people by updating your content. You do not have to do this yourself. If your budget allows, you can invest in a copywriter or digital marketing agency, such as Blue Square Management, to do this for you.
Your content needs to be of high quality and regularly posted. An excellent way to do this is with the use of a blog. The content should also be fresh and engaging, so that people will want to read and share it on social media. This not only keeps up your ranking on the search engines, but will also help to spread the word about your local business.
If you thought that your small business could not compete with the giants, think again. Local SEO is one of the sure ways you can attempt to become recognized as a leading provider of the services or products your business offers in your local area.
I hope you found this episode helpful and I will see you in the next Blue Square SEO and Digital Marketing podcast.
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Blue Square Management have created a free monthly digital marketing magazine that aims to help small businesses get more customers, clients, or patients, increase sales and help grow their business.
It provides useful hints and tips on all online marketing topics, including:
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Check out these blog posts and podcasts. Here you will discover more local SEO tips on how to rank higher in Google Maps (Google My Business – now Google Business Profile) and get more customers, clients or patients for your business.