Local SEO represent a key component of any business’ marketing strategy to effectively dominate search engine results, while simultaneously ramping up your marketing efforts in other channels the likes of social media, reviews, media outreach, print ads etc.
1. Properly Optimized Info on Your Website
Even if you’re running a physical café in some parts of town, your business website is still your most important and valuable online asset, so ensuring that it is properly optimized to appear high within search results is key.
Here, you might want to identify and use appropriate keywords relevant to your business on page titles, meta tags and descriptions to better identify your business, its services and its location to the consumers.
Taking care of the NAP (Name, Address, Phone) is also essential ensuring the information in not only on the homepage, but each individual page of your website.
2. Secure Your Business Listings on Local Directories
You know those TripAdvisor reviews that pop up every now and then on the Google search engine? Well, they obviously serves a purpose.
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to boost local SEO is to ensure the availability and consistency of your business’ listing information across a myriad of third-party sources. Google and other search engines constantly scan these sites to develop a stronger understanding of the local web and your business.
So it’s time you stake a claim to your business with a local listing on sites like Google My Business (formerly known as Google Places), Google+, Yelp, TripAdvisor and so on. Foursquare helps too. There are also the more obscure ones like HungryGoWhere, Yellowbook and so on.
3. Ensure an Appropriate Link Strategy
Links from your website to other related websites, and vice versa, play a central role in your business’ SEO visibility, more so for brick and mortar because they help to increase visibility, establish authenticity and credibility of your business.
Here, you might want to consistently share links to your website from your other marketing channels, from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc and even through newsletters and SMS marketing, to name a few. This would effectively improve and increase your search engine rankings over time as well.
4. Encourage Online User Reviews
Over time, user reviews help to build your business’ visibility in local search results, and so does your engagement in responding to them — be it positive or negative. However, small businesses need to ensure the reviews themselves always come from the outside.
Reviews can be initiated in the form of a Call To Action (CTA) button on your social media channels, or request for feedbacks printed on the back of receipts, or the use of some online forms to gather and collate such feedbacks (eg. Google Forms).
Be forewarned though, never risk your reputation via postings of fake reviews for the consequences of this would be far more detrimental to the business in the long run and the damage could be irreversible.
5. Engage on Social Media
Social media pages play a notable role in local business’ visibility in search results. The more proactive your social media strategy, the higher likelihood your pages will attract followers — and in turn, appear within search.
Develop a strong social media strategy that engages customers via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other popular networks on a regular basis. The more followers and engagement you receive, the higher your pages will appear in search.
Some ideas for engagement include updates on new products, promotions and giveaways, and highlighting stories of relevance to your customers. Be sure to respond to those reaching out via social media with questions or feedback on their orders.