Sometimes SEO can feel like you’re going to war with Google, but if you’re trying to rank locally above national companies Google is actually on your side! Google has been updating their algorithms over the past few years to prioritize local results. The following tips will help you improve your local search engine optimization efforts for your business.
1. Title, Description and ALT Tags Matter
If you’re trying to appear in Google ranking for your geographic location, it’s important to include your city and state in your title tags, alt tags, and meta description tags. These tags significantly impact a website’s search engine rankings. If you’re unsure about how to implement tags, we recommend reading this SEO Tag Optimization blog post that guides you through the tag optimization process.
2. Local Directories Are Important
Ensure your site is listed in local search directories to maximize your presence in local search results. Small businesses need to claim their listings on Yelp, Yahoo Local, YP, Bing Local, foursquare, etc. with quality images, relevant company information, and accurate address, phone number, and company name Consistency stresses that your company’s name, address, and phone number are displayed in the same format on every local listing page.
3. Listen to Google
In the world of SEM we play by Google’s rules. For local businesses, a presence on Google places and Google+ is a necessity. Local businesses interested in improving their rankings need to get on board with Google. Leverage Google+ as you would Facebook by connecting and engaging with others and providing accurate business information.
4. Social Media is a Must
It’s challenging for local businesses to maintain a social media presence on top of running their company, but the importance of social signals cannot be overlooked. Conduct a competitive analysis to understand whether you need to be on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and develop your social media strategy from there.
5. Start a Blog
Google has started to place a strong emphasis on fresh, valuable content. Blogging is a time consuming process, but it’s certainly worth the effort. Creating a blog means adding engaging posts on a regular basis. When generating blog posts the best place to start is to address each of your frequently asked questions with a post.
Regardless of the size of your business, all brick and motor businesses should consider including local SEO to their overall marketing strategy. A strong SEO strategy is essential to ranking on the first page of major search engines.