What Should Local Small Businesses Know About SEO?
Building an online presence is difficult regardless of the type of business you manage, but local small businesses have an especially difficult experience. Since these businesses are not relevant to national or even global audiences, they must work harder to attract the attention of a more localized (and therefore smaller) audience. Additionally, local SEO tends to vary considerably from other generalized forms of SEO.
With that being said, what should local small businesses be aware of when aiming to boost their search engine visibility? Let’s talk about the most important things any small business owner should know when targeting local search results.
Contact Information Matters
Above all else, local small businesses must be accessible. This is true for physical businesses operating with in-person clientele just as much as it is true with digital presence. As such, local businesses seeking to improve their SEO outcomes must make sure that their address, phone number, email addresses and other vital forms of contact information are not only online, but consistently displayed across all platforms.
Search engines that find brands pinging websites with conflicting sets of contact information (due to recent moves, telephone number changes or other factors) will naturally not display these brands as prominently as brands that use utilities such as Google Search Console and other webmaster tools to unify their contact info. Make sure that your information is up-to-date and accurate across search engines and any other websites as well!
Content Is Mandatory
Local small businesses often have minimal web presences. This makes it difficult to own various local SERPs – especially if you are in competition with other, larger entities. The one ultimate equalizer in SEO is content: if your small business is producing locally-relevant content on a consistent basis, then it can overcome any advantages that other brands may have.
Depending on your brand’s exact focus, this could be personal blog posts, updates on new products, upcoming local events, charitable work in the community or anything else relevant both to your business and the local community. Additionally, other forms of content – such as how-tos, FAQs and other comparable concepts – can help further flesh out a local small business blog or website for optimal SEO results.
Local Ranking Factors Are Crucial
Last but not least, local ranking factors are a big concern for small businesses seeking to break through in local search results. But what are some examples of local ranking factors?
Reviews are a big help in this regard, earned through platforms such as Facebook, Yelp and Google My Business. By setting up and enabling reviews through these entities, your business can build credibility in the eyes of search engines and feature more prominently in relevant search results.
Earning backlinks from other local websites is another major ranking factor for local businesses. When local businesses are pinging websites with links to their pages, this establishes trust, relevance and authority to search engines. Businesses can also benefit from targeting select SERPs that focus on specific geography, including SERPs that feature phrases such as “nearby”, “near me” and “closest”.
Depending on your location and niche, the difficulty of ranking prominently in local search results can vary. However, any local small business can make gains in search results by employing the aforementioned tactics to optimize their broader SEO efforts. Don’t hesitate: start employing these strategies today!