Optimizing for local searches is a great way for small businesses to boost their position in the increasingly competitive search results. However, this process can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, the analysts at Radd Interactive have compiled a list of local SEO tips to help your business rank higher for local search terms.

Google My Business:

One of the most important steps you should take when optimizing your website for local business SEO is to secure and verify your Google My Business account. This is where Google pulls its information when it displays Local 3-Packs, so it’s a good idea to create this profile as soon as possible. When setting up your account, be sure to completely fill out every field, write a compelling description, and include high-quality photos of your locations. The contact information you list on your Google My Business account should be consistent across all of your online profiles, including your website. The verification process can take up to two weeks, so the sooner you tackle this step the better.

Social Media & Local Directories:

Another way to capture local searches is to increase your online presence by creating social media pages for your company and listing your website in local directories like Yelp, Merchant Circle, and local news websites. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are a great way to engage your audience and keep them up to date on your promotions, new products, and local events. When you set up your profiles, make sure your Name/Address/Phone Number (NAP) remains consistent with what you have on your website and Google My Business account.

Reviews:

Once you set up your Google My Business account, social media profiles, and local directory listings, ask your customers to write reviews across a variety of platforms. According to Google, “[h]igh-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility.” You can encourage your customers to write reviews with follow-up emails, flyers at checkout, or a call to action on your website.

Once you begin receiving reviews, you should proactively respond to them. Thank customers for their patronage when they leave positive reviews and offer assistance to those who leave negative ones. Actively engaging with reviewers encourages clients to return and shows potential customers that you are committed providing great service even after the deal is closed.

On Page Optimization:

Finally, there are several ways you can optimize your website’s on page factors for local searches. First, make sure your NAP is consistent across your site and matches what you have listed on your Google My Business account. As always, title tags and meta descriptions are important signals for local business SEO. Your title tag should target one important key word as close to the front as possible and include the city/service area you’re targeting. Your meta description should reinforce the information in your title and include a strong call to action. Once you edit these fields sprinkle the key word and location naturally throughout your content.

If you have more than one location, or serve more than one area, create individual location pages that target those cities. Make sure that the content on each of these pages is unique. You can do this by including testimonials from clients in that location, explaining the different services/products available at each location, listing the local events you’ll be participating in, and more. You can also embed a Google map pointing to you location on your contact page or location pages.

When it comes to local business SEO, these tips are just the beginning. There is much more you can do to increase your position in local search results once you have created a solid foundation. For more information on how to increase your site’s rankings, contact the SEO experts at Radd Interactive.