You’ve heard of SEO. In fact, you’ve probably heard about it a lot. For good reason. But here’s something you might not know too much about: it’s called Local SEO and it could completely change the way you think about your website.
Here’s how it works: if you search for bakeries in Columbus, Ohio and you get a page of results that includes bakeries in Austin, Seattle, or New York, you’re probably not going to be as happy with those results. Unless specific locations are included in the keywords, Google will provide the best local results for a search. So it’s up to you to make sure that your website is optimized for keywords relating to your location. Here’s how:
Talk About Yourself
You can start boosting your local SEO by writing about your location in the content of your website. Make sure that your phone number, address and email are located prominently at the header and footer of every page so that Google can catalogue your location easily.
Writing thorough About Us and FAQ pages is another good way to include the location of your business and the locations you typically serve. You can work those keywords in even more by talking about why you chose that location for your business, whether you grew up in that city or you moved there for a specific reason. This will help your SEO from a technical standpoint, and it will help you connect with the people visiting your website from a personal one. There’s a reason why websites that are user friendly and full of information receive better rankings on Google!
Every website needs a Contact Us page. This is ultimately what will drive conversions, whether you want people to sign up for a service or visit your business in person. A good contact page will include a phone number, email, address, and business hours. Even if this info is listed elsewhere you should repeat it here because it is another opportunity for Google to categorize your site.
To boost your local SEO even further you can include a Google map on your Contact Us page. Embedding a map is easy and you’ll be doing your customers a favor by providing a familiar, interactive way for them to get directions to your business. This will also allow Google to confirm your location with a site that it already trusts… itself. Sounds like a win-win for your business!
Use Outside Confirmation
In general, a website receives higher rankings on Google if it is linked to from trustworthy outside sources. To make this work with local SEO you can ensure that your business is registered on websites that focus on connecting people with local businesses: Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business are good places to start, with Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, and MerchantCircle coming in next.
Make sure your business is registered for the correct location (these websites will then confirm it on their own, therefore strengthening your claim), then write up a nice profile and upload photos. This will legitimize your business, and it will also help you get traffic from people visiting those sites. Be sure to check your listing on these sites with some regularity so that if people leave reviews (good and bad) you can respond to thank them or offer to help.
Local SEO is important to most businesses because it builds trust in your community and helps your business grow. And if your business is reliant on local traffic, like a retail store or restaurant, this is especially true. If you do a search for your business on Google and your website doesn’t show up until the second page or at all, you are missing out on a lot of potential for your business. Want to learn more? Start by figuring out your website grade here. It only takes 15 seconds, and you might be surprised by the results!