Owning a local business brings a whole new spin to the work you put into your SEO (search engine optimization). You may have some great keywords on your website, but if you are marketing mostly to your local community, you might find that you’re not getting the results you really want. A click originating from four states away is exciting, but it won’t help you if you only sell within a specific area around your business’s physical location.
That’s where local SEO comes in. Local SEO puts you on the map for people in your area who may be searching for your products or services. So how do you use local SEO, and more importantly, where can you start?
What is Local SEO?
This can include ensuring that certain information is available on your website and placing your business information on more localized online searching tools such as YellowPages, Google, etc.
Some parts of local SEO work better with brick-and-mortar business locations that have an actual street address. However, this doesn’t mean that your business has to have a street address for local SEO to work. Simply using location information in your normal SEO work should be enough to improve your local SEO.
If you’ve ever searched for a particular product or service in your area, you yourself have probably performed a local search. For instance, “used tires for sale near me” or “grocery stores in Knoxville” are great examples of commonly phrased local searches.
Even in the absence of an obvious local search, most search engines are built to place precedence with local organic search results over national ones. For example, if you do a Google search for “web design services”, you’ll see local businesses offering that service in the Google Maps box above the organic search results.
This can also work for areas around your physical location as well. Businesses in Knoxville can attract business from Oak Ridge by writing content about Oak Ridge and naming the city enough times to draw attention from search engine crawlers.
The best way to start is to put the physical location of your business on your website. You’ll also want to place your business’s information on its own Google Business page. This will ensure that, at the very least, you’re more likely to be found with a search within your local area.
In addition to those measures, you can place your business’s physical address and information on other websites such as YellowPages, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The more areas that your business is listed, the more that crawlers will associate you with the local area.
On your website and in any posts you make, noting location information such as the city name can also help build up your credibility in the local area. This is the same tactic you’ll want to do in order to drive business from surrounding locations as well.
Regardless of your type of business, local SEO is an important part to having your products or services discovered by local audiences. Not only will it build you up locally, but it can also have an impact on your regular SEO by driving traffic responding to new keywords that you may not have already utilized.