For businesses that are predominantly online and can do business on a national or international scale, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to reaching masses of customers and making sales. But what about those businesses who still operate locally, from a fixed location where foot traffic and personal interaction is key? SEO is still critical – it just takes a little more focus. Here we explore three ways to lead the local SEO market for your business niche.
Google Business and Places
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to claim your business location on Google My Business (GMB). As Google dominates SEO, use every free tool that they offer to promote your business. Google allows you to set your business name, contact details and location for free, which then puts you on Google Maps. You can set up a business page that has everything your customers will need to be able to find you, including a map that pinpoints your exact location (so make sure you get it accurate).
When people search for a business Google presents them with three local businesses first, complete with contact details and a pointer on the map. When you have your GMB page created, along with your other SEO, your chances of showing up as one of these three listings is high. It is a free recommendation by Google! To claim your business page and get started, click here.
Reviews have been used for centuries by humans to refer friends to great places or steer them clear of those that are not so good. It is word of mouth advertising, and it still holds immense value for your business. Online reviews by your customers carry weight for your SEO as well as your reputation. The more reviews you have, the easier Google can find you because more people are talking about your business. There are plenty of free review sites you can use.
Sometimes, though, asking people for reviews can be awkward. Here are some ways to ask:
- Place a link to your review page on your receipts
- Place a small sign in your store that tells people where they can review
- Incentivize a review –
- free coffee when you review us,
- ‘review us and go in the draw to win,’
- discount off your next order when you review your experience with us
It doesn’t have to cost you anything and the rewards for your business can be exponential. Implement something today and see what wonderful things your customers have to say!
Back in the old days the Yellow Pages was all you needed to be found, but that is definitely not the case now! But these types of directories still exist, and they are online. Get your business details into as many of them as you can. CitySearch and Yelp are two very popular ones that Google likes for SEO, so claim your spot on these as soon as possible. Yelp also allows reviews!
There are many local directories in each city which have an online presence, including the Chamber of Commerce. Even the Yellow Pages has an online presence so try them out! Spend a little time searching and you will be surprised at the number of places you can advertise your business – for free!
What if I want to explore other ways?
YellowFin Digital, a digital marketing agency in South Texas, are experts in local SEO techniques and would be honoured to help you get maximum exposure online for your business. Contact us today to find out more!