Are you a lawyer, dentist, or similar local business that serves a community? Chances are your audience is composed of local residents and they are situated in the same area as your business. If you want them to come knocking on your door instead of your direct competitors, it’s a good idea for you to have your website and local listings optimized.
Luckily, making your website work for your business doesn’t need to feel like rocket science.
Even if your company is a small one and you are targeting local clients only, SEO can quickly become your best friend. So many people think that SEO is perfect only for industry giants, but the fact is even small-scale ventures could benefit tremendously if implemented correctly.
Below you will come across the top 4 SEO localized strategies for small firms. Take a look at them and you will realize that online exposure might be more obtainable that you think.
1. Optimize Your Google My Business Page
Have you tried looking for local services using Google? Nearby businesses listed on the top of the page are most likely the ones you will consider. When local residents search for law firms, dentists, or a medical doctor, for example, you definitely want your business to be on the topmost part of the search engine result page.
In order to achieve that feat, you will likely want to start by setting up a Google My Business page. Don’t worry because it’s absolutely free. This tool is also user-friendly.
When setting up your Google My Business page, make sure that you include a long description of your business, which should contain important keywords. Don’t forget to mention the kind of service you provide. It will also help a lot if you include as many photos as you can. Make sure that you add in pertinent contact details and a link to your website.
One of the nicest things about having a Google My Business page, or GMB for short, is you will also be provided with helpful details, such as how many people are visiting your website through it and how many reviews you are getting.
Here is how you can do this
- Navigate to Google My Business.
- Search for your business using its name and address.
- If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
- If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
- Click Submit.
Once you have a listing on Google be sure to optimize your profile to help with visibility. Use the following checklist for this process:
- Make sure you complete all information Google asks for
- Check your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP). These should be listed exactly as you have them on your website AND all other websites should list you NAP in the same manner.
- Take advantage of Posts to advertise events, sales, free consultations, popular blog posts, new services offered, etc. Be sure to add a good image to help grab a searchers attention.
- Enable Bookings on your listing. This will allow people to book an appointment directly through your listing. Learn more about this feature here.
- Sign-up for the messaging feature to allow customers to text message you. If you don’t want text messages sent directly to your phone, try using Google’s Allo app instead.
- Take lots of photos of your business. Google allows you to add a number of images that show off just how great your business is. Take advantage of this.
2. Generate Reviews From Google Reviews
Websites that utilize Google reviews could benefit, so long as those reviews are positive. Make sure that you provide superb service in order for your practice to get awesome reviews.
According to studies, Google reviews may have a direct impact on the ranking of a business on search engine results page. The study states that “Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more.”
However, Google is not the only search engine around that allows local business to obtain reviews. For instance, you may also opt for Avvo, Yelp, Facebook, BBB or one of the many other review sites out there. It is said that people who are searching for law firms and various other local businesses use these, and also leave reviews after obtaining their needed services.
Getting good reviews on Google or elsewhere is not only beneficial for optimization purposes, but your business in general as it gives your company the credibility it needs.
3. Have Your Website Optimized With Local Keyword Data
It’s important for Google to realize that your company is a local business to make sure that it will be seen by people in your area. In order to pull that off, you will have to include local keyword data to your website. This aspect of having your website optimized may require a little technical know-how, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an SEO expert to be able to have your website updated.
Some important things to remember are: include your area and a keyword in the title tag, add local keywords to the H1 tag, embed a Google map on the contact page, and throw several local keywords in the content of the pages.
In addition to keyword placement, it is also helpful to have schema markup added to your pages. Schema markup can help search engines better understand your data. This will likely require the help of a programmer. You can view some of the local Schema.org markups on this page.
4. Obtain Back-links From Various Local Websites
To help search engines understand you are indeed a local business it is a good idea to be involved in the local community and displayed on other local websites. It can be one of the most challenging SEO strategies most especially among owners of small businesses. There are a number of different ways you can go about doing this, see my post on this here, some of these methods we will discuss below.
So how will you be able to find these websites? Actually, you are only limited by your imagination. For instance, you can contribute articles on local websites that are geared towards disseminating news and public service. Are there upcoming local events that you could sponsor? Get in touch with the organizers.
Having interns can be very beneficial as well, and it’s also an opportunity for your website to get backlinks. For instance, you may contact local colleges and universities to inform them that you are offering internships and post the information with a backlink to the job listing on your site.
I know I said that there would only be 4 points but this one I felt was worth mentioning. As user metrics play a more important role in Google’s current algorithm, a good website design, navigation, and layout can be an important aspect to the success of your campaign. I have an article I helped produce here that goes into more detail here. A few points you should consider will include navigation, calls to action, color scheme, presentation, and relevance (keep your site clean). If you’re able to properly utilize and balance these elements properly it could help to better serve your search efforts.