Getting your business to the top of Google’s local search results does not happen on it’s own.
It takes a lot of work and if there were only 5 Local SEO Tips I could give they would be:
Local SEO Tip #1 – Optimize your Google My Business (formerly Google+ Local)
Google ranks businesses not websites. Google would rather that a search user stay within its own ecosystem and therefore has launched a series of products (and acquired businesses) including Google My Business (Google+ Local) to keep visitors on Google. In fact, with Google+ you don’t even need a website to rank on Google!!! The key to a great Google+ Business Page is to treat it like you would a website – add as much content to the page as necessary to explain all of your products and services and win the customer. Don’t assume that the customer is going to click through to your website – that’s an unlikely scenario. Therefore, you need to add lots of engaging images and videos. You also need to keep the page updated and treat your wall like a social network between yourself, your customers, and prospective customers (Google search users).
Local SEO Tip #2 – Get Lots of Quality Google Reviews
Customers make decisions based on what others say about you. Too many businesses leave it to chance that a happy customer will leave a review. You and I both know that “the silent majority” usually rules the roost, meaning that one angry customer usually speaks the loudest and creates the feel that everyone has a bad experience with your business. It’s also important to appreciate that not all review sites are created equal, especially for Local SEO ranking purposes. Focus most of your energy on getting positive reviews on Google. Don’t just leave it to chance. When a customer tell you (or one of your employees) that your product or service met or exceeded their expectations you need to ask for a Google review. Formalize the process. If you need help sign-up for a free trial of LSEO.com and we’ll show you exactly how to turns a happy customer into a Google review.
Local SEO Tip #3 – Publish Lots of Valuable Content on a Regular Basis
Having lots of quality content is critical to your local SEO strategy. Each page of content should optimize for no more than one or two keywords and should serve a purpose to entertain or educate a visitor to your website. Content is also required for purposes of engaging with prospective customers through social media (more on that in a moment). Generating content tends to be one of the most foreign (yet critical) aspects of optimizing for search engines. Too many local business owners conclude – “I have a website.” Having a website isn’t enough if you want to rank on search-engines. In order to rank on search engines you need to have a long-term view on building content. I always recommend that you set the bar as high as possible by shooting to build enough content to become to de facto, no questions asked authority on the subject matter that surrounds your particular product or service. For instance, if you are a plumber you need to build a bunch of how-to guides and do it yourself videos on how to fix a problem when it occurs. You should also share other resources, including pictures of how to solve problems. You can also recommend tools and of course educate your visitors about your product or service. However, then purpose of the content should be to sell; it should be to inform and entertain. Once you establish yourself as the authority on whatever area of expertise you focus on you’ll be getting more traffic and leads than you know what to do with. I think you’ll agree that will be a good problem to have.
Local SEO Tip #4 – Social Media Optimization
In my opinion, being present on social media is critical to your ability to serve your customers. Not having an active social media strategy for your business is unacceptable. In addition, Google considers social media signals, such as engagement with your business and the content you share, for purposes of ranking businesses in local search results. Don’t outsource your social media strategy to interns or the neighbors kid because he “gets it.” Make an investment in a social media strategy that will deliver extraordinary customer service and is an extension of your content marketing strategy.
Local SEO Tip #5 – Generate 5 or more Quality Local Links
The old school premise of link building is that quality matters, but the more links the merrier. For local SEO purposes the idea of “link building” is important but different. Specifically, it’s better to generate links that are geographically and contextually relevant to your business. From a geographical perspective, Google will rank you higher if you have links to your website from high authority websites (media websites, charities, local directories) in your geography (stick within a 30 mile radius if possible) than from outside of your area. If you get links from outside of your geography that’s OK, but just focus your energy and resources on local links. From a contextual point of view it’s better to get a link from the “plumbers” section of a local business directory than it would be to get a link from a local real estate website. Similarly, it makes a lot of sense to get links from vendors and partners who serve customers within your industry versus simply trying to get a link from whoever will link to you.
If you prefer to see a video version of this content here you go: