The Internet provides global opportunities for many businesses. While that is certainly tempting, it doesn’t hurt to focus on your city first. Consumers tend to trust brands more when they are within 20 miles of their location. As a result, a local online presence is critical. How can you tackle the world if you can’t tackle your own backyard first? For local businesses, this means specific local SEO tactics and strategies. Read on to learn more.
Many businesses are so concerned with showing up in worldwide searches, that they forget to market within their own cities. You are obviously meeting a demand for a specific product or service. Certainly, there are other consumers in your area who could benefit from your offerings.
Think of your city as the first step to local search engine ranking domination. Yet, so many businesses don’t even show up within their own city. It’s difficult to understand since Google presents search results based on relevance and significance. If someone is looking for a bakery in their city, you want your business name and location to populate.
You see, local search is based on location and proximity. If you are focused on the basics, you should at least rank well in your town. If your content is phenomenal, then you might get noticed statewide.
Plus, if you’re not well optimized in your own town, you won’t be well optimized in any other city, state, country or continent.
With regard to turning window shoppers into actual paying customers, localized search results can produce much higher results than generalized keywords. Moreover, local customers are more likely to post positive reviews.
If you are a respected business, your local shoppers will be proud to boast of your goods and services. They want to be associated with a winner. Plus, if they like what you offer, they are more likely to come back and refer friends and family.
1. Research your competition
All business strategies start with competitive research. You can look into three businesses, then create a backlink report with a tool such as Majestic. The objective is to identify a potential linking partner. Figure out why they should link to you. Have your contact information ready, reach out and ask for a link.
2. Have a consistent physical address
It is imperative to have a physical address in the town you’re targeting. Moreover, it needs to be consistent across all of your profiles. As a result, you will have an optimized local presence.
3. Publish lots of high-quality content
You want to post content as soon as possible. The goal is to establish your expertise in your industry. You also want to write the type of content that people want to share. This is what your content should do:
Some of the most shareable types of content include infographics and listicles. In addition, it helps to keep up with content marketing trends.
4. Start guest posting
Spend a few hours a week looking for well-respected, third-party websites in your industry. You want to be consistent; try for two guest posts per month. Of course, you should backlink to your site. It is also important to ask publishers what types of topics they prefer.
Don’t forget to use the right keywords in your content. Consider the types of keywords your local market might search for. Come up with a list of 10 and vary their use throughout all of your content. Then, when people search for keywords related to your company, there is a higher likelihood they will find your business.
5. Create separate web pages for different branches
This may seem like more work, but it really helps. It’s part of being consistent. You can’t own your city with multiple addresses. You need to focus on each branch specifically.
6. Donate to charities and sponsor events
Look for charities that provide backlinks, then contact the individuals who handle donation. Don’t worry about having to send a massive amount to get a backlink. Even donations as small as $50 or $100 can earn you a link.
Furthermore, look for charities that have donor pages. In addition to charities, you can sponsor local events.
Throughout the year, there are probably many community events in your industry that need sponsorships. These can include parties and sporting events. Imagine your business name emblazoned on a small arena or even a surfboard.
It’s even more helpful if the event has a sponsor page. The key is to stay current with events taking place in your industry.
Once you’ve perfected local SEO in your city, you can start to venture into larger and uncharted territory. At least you now have some experience behind you. Of course, you need to be realistic, strategic and persistent.
Global traffic doesn’t happen overnight. In the meantime, make sure to grab some of that easy local traffic.
Katrina Manning is a content marketing specialist with BuildNicheLinks who has penned thousands of articles on business, tech, lifestyle and digital marketing for a wide variety of global B2B clients. She is also the author of three books–part of The Marmalade Series available on Amazon–and is currently working on her fourth. In her free time, she enjoys fundraising for charitable causes, playing with her cat and baking.