I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: the only thing constant in the world is change. And anyone working on their marketing strategy knows that’s just as true for local SEO tactics.
It can be overwhelming–with so many marketing firms out there giving you advice–to know which local SEO tactics to focus on. So we’ve narrowed it down to the ones we’re telling our clients to make a priority this year.
If you’re making a to-do list for SEO, you might as well just use this one.
Google My Business: Use It.
Google My Business (GMB) is the big kahuna of directories, so make sure you claim the page for your business. Not only can it help you become a household name in your area, it’s some of the best exposure you can get.
How to Claim It: To claim your Google My Business page, go to google.com/business. Follow the instructions–make sure you use an address that’s not a PO Box–and Google will mail you a postcard with a PIN for your page. Once you have that, you can verify your business, and start utilizing GMB to boost your local SEO.
How to Optimize it: If you want killer ROI on your GMB, make sure to be descriptive. Include a detailed description–the who, what, where, why, and how–of your business. Don’t forget your hours, current photos, and what type of payment you accept. The more fields you fill in, and the more accurate that information is, the better your local SEO will be.
Once you’re good to go on Google, you can set up the same type of page at Bing Places for Business. It’s worth doing, and it won’t hurt to have another avenue for potential customers to get to you, right?
Don’t Skip Other Directories Just Because You Have a GMB.
Don’t be the entrepreneur who stayed offline and missed connections with the millions of people who search for ways to do business there. And once you’re in the big directories, you don’t have to stop there. Aside from Google and Bing, here’s who we recommend:
Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Local News Sources (Because they advertise, local papers often maintain a business directory or database by category and/or neighborhood.)
While you’re at it, it won’t hurt to list your business listed in data aggregation and citation cites, such as Localeze/Neustar, Acxiom, and Factual. Just double check each entry for accuracy: spelling or numerical errors aren’t going to help your local SEO– especially on citation sites.
Don’t Neglect Your Title and Meta Description Tags.
Title and meta description tags are what you see when you have pressed enter on a search, and the list comes up. The clickable part is the title, which is tagged for searches. The brief description below the title is the meta-description: a sentence or two about your business designed to get customers to click on your website, and stay there once they land. When you’re crafting this content, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Narrow your focus to one target keyword
List your location in either the title or the meta description tag
Don’t waste space. Every word counts. Pick the ones most relevant and engaging.
If nothing else, think of the websites you click on after you search–and the ones you don’t–and emulate the best practices of the sites you visit and explore when crafting this part of your local SEO.
Ask For–and Post–Reviews Online.
Reviews are one of the oldest–and truest–ways marketing and reach happen organically. Think of all the times you have–and haven’t–decided to eat somewhere based on a review you either read online, or heard from a friend.
The right review can really help your business shine, so that it stands out in local SEO. We recommend the following for review tracking: Get Five Stars, Reputation Loop, Vendasta, and Trust Pilot.
The great news about strong tactics for local SEO is– a lot of them are free or low-cost, and run themselves well, as long as your marketing strategies and content are well aligned.
How’s your local SEO looking this year? What’s working so far—and what could you use help on?