Small businesses should make marketing one of their priorities. Marketing practices have evolved considerably over the past quarter century. Many businesses relied almost entirely on word of mouth to reach new customers. While word of mouth is always important, they should also use digital marketing to expand their reach.
Search engine optimization is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Savvy business owners will have a detailed SEO strategy to reach as many potential customers as possible through Google. However, only 49% of small businesses actually use SEO. You will stand out from the competition better if you exploit it yourself.
Here are some crucial guidelines to help you improve your local SEO strategy. If you are struggling to develop your own SEO strategy, you can consult an expert. You may even find a strategist who specializes in your own industry, such as a dental referencing specialist.
Make sure you are targeting the right keywords.
Many businesses have a very detailed SEO strategy that involves getting high quality backlinks, carefully structuring their pages, and doing other essential SEO tasks. But, unfortunately, they make the mistake of targeting the wrong keywords. If you don’t focus on the right keywords, you won’t get quality traffic even if you do everything else right.
You need to make sure that you choose keywords with a decent search volume and relevance to your target customers. You should also make sure that they are not too competitive to be ranked.
You should be aware of the following mistakes that other companies have made, so that you don’t make them yourself:
- An independent paralegal handled the uncontested divorces. He wanted to rank on Google for the keyword “undisputed divorces in Los Angeles”. He was happy to find that he was at the top of Google for this keyword. However, one of his future marketing consultants had to point out that no one was looking for that term, which meant it wouldn’t bring new leads.
- An entrepreneur started a web development company that included the name of a common bird in the brand name. He wanted to rank at the top of Google for this bird name. An SEO pro had to point out that this would cost millions of dollars and bring little value as most people looking for this name would be looking at images of this bird rather than a web development company.
You can’t afford to pick the wrong keywords. Use the Google Keyword Planner and other keyword research tools.
Make sure all of your contact details are correct.
Ecommerce businesses and other businesses that don’t focus on local marketing take different approaches to offsite optimization. They usually focus almost entirely on building links to their website.
Links also remain very important for local businesses. However, they also need to focus on other offsite ranking factors.
Google examines references to your website on other parts of the Internet. If you’ve gotten mentions of your business on other sites, then your site will be considered more important. This is especially true if you include your contact details and address on these platforms.
Unfortunately, these references won’t offer you as much value if you don’t make sure your information is consistent. If you use different addresses on directories and on your own site, Google will be less likely to move your website up in the rankings.
It is best to regularly check your address and contact details on different platforms. Plus, you should always update everything if your business address or phone number changes.
Use local websites correctly when linking
As mentioned above, links are always very important for search engine optimization. Therefore, you need to build the right links to improve your search engine rankings.
All other things being equal, Google seems to place a higher priority on links from other websites in your area. However, you need to use them appropriately. For example, you don’t want to participate in link exchange programs with completely different websites and industries.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get a backlink from another small business in a different vertical. However, it would be best if you made sure that there is some context that makes the link feel like it makes sense. For example, if you partnered with another small business at a charity event, you could get them to mention it on their business blog and link to your site.
You should also consider taking advantage of local directories and news sites. These can be some of the best places to get links as a local business.