The Basics of Local SEO

According to Google, four out of five consumers use search engines to locate businesses “near me.”

Whether it’s a plumber, a florist, or the best takeout pizza, local search engine optimization (SEO) is expanding rapidly and is a powerful tool for small businesses to gain traction. Still, many small businesses have yet to secure an online local business listing. Don’t be one of those business owners who miss this opportunity.

There are multiple free avenues by which your website can deliver potential customers and gain ranking in Google. Arranging the stepping stones is not difficult or too time consuming, though it requires a bit of sleuthing to uncover all the correct local directories.

For brick and mortar businesses, adding your location to the main page title of your website should be the first step. Don’t forget about Yelp, social media platforms, or any other online listing. If a nearby consumer doesn’t have your correct location or phone number, it’s potential lost revenue or a referral.

Setting up Google My Business and Bing Places for Business profiles is also crucial as they provide great exposure when relevant information, such as a detailed description, photos, business hours, etc., is fully populated. Additionally, online directories such as the chamber of commerce and local business directories are exceptional resources.

For online businesses, owners should focus on adding location to their Contact or About pages, in addition to social media profiles, and gaining relevant reviews on online referrals such as Yelp. In a recent survey, 70 percent of respondents said they would post a review if asked by the business. So be proactive and seek out reviewers. In the same survey, more than 85 percent of respondents noted that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

This is a quick overview but following up on these simple tactics could put you a step ahead of the competition.

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