Mastering local SEO may sound daunting, but it’s one of the most important marketing strategies your small business can employ to find success. Fortunately, great SEO essentially boils down to delivering quality content that’s valuable to customers. Here are seven tips to help you along your journey of becoming an SEO master.
1. Get Organized
Any winning strategy, regardless of type, begins with preparation and the same is true for winning at SEO. Your SEO won’t change overnight which means you must be ready to allocate time and resources towards an ongoing SEO campaign. Many small business owners want to see instant results. If you’re in marketing, it’s a good idea to first start with a conversation with management so everyone is on the same page about the time commitment from day one.
2. Prioritize Listings
Next you have to get your listings in check. Online listings are extremely important because they legitimize your business and give you instant visibility. If you stay on top of your SEO, you’ll see your website rise in search results as a result. Google wants to help people find reputable businesses online. Help Google help you by having your business listed correctly across the web. There are dozens of options for where to place your listings so choose ones that are most relevant to your business. Take care of the big ones first like Google+, Bing, and Yahoo Local for example before moving onto industry-specific sites and forums.
3. Create Value on Social Media
While most everyone knows that it’s important to be active on social media, it can be easy to spread yourself too thin too quickly if you don’t have a strategy in place. It’s more important to focus on publishing quality content that readers will love and want to share rather than immediately signing up for every single site and quickly abandoning those that don’t matter. Search engines reward quality over quantity. But, you already knew that, didn’t you?
4. Keep Customers Informed and Engaged
Besides publishing great content on social media, one of the best ways to keep customers engaged is by having a company blog. Publish useful information like tips, DIYs and industry trends and insights specific to your niche to keep readers engaged. This also helps search engines see you as an authority in your industry, which in turn boosts SEO rankings.
5. Quality Comes First
It can be overwhelming to consistently produce great content if you’re not a writer by trade. Don’t give into the temptation to publish a poorly and hastily written blog post simply because you’re overdue for content. Always focus on quality, even if it means hiring a professional or freelance writer from time to time.
6. Put the User First
Besides expert information, Google and other search engines also reward companies who focus on user experience. To ensure you’re providing a great experience for users, put yourself in their shoes. Pretend you’ve never heard of your business and hop online to see how you might discover it. Pay attention to how easy or difficult it is to customers to find you, get the information they’re looking for, and contact you for further information. Make any adjustments you can to simplify the process, including optimizing for mobile searches!
7. Request Reviews
Consumers are always interested in hearing what others have to say about your business. Positive word of mouth is extremely important to the success of a small business, so encourage your customers to leave reviews. If someone leaves a negative review, don’t stress. That’s just a great opportunity to follow up with them and prove that you’re committed to customer satisfaction.
With these seven tips for mastering local SEO, you can begin to formulate a plan of attack so your business gets found more by those who are online looking for you! What other ways have you found success with that could be added here? Please let us know in the comments.