If you’re a small business owner looking to make your company competitive online, you know that, as in the real world, gaining attention over your corporate competitors is a lot easier said than done. With eMarketer estimating that web users will spend $1.5 trillion on goods and services purchased off the net by the end of this year, there has never been a more important time for you to become more competitive in the digital world.
Of all the ways to generate buzz around your company, search engine optimization strategies are doubtlessly the most important. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, according to Search Engine Journal, after all. That being said, for the small business owner who relies on his or her local market to succeed, local search optimization is the only way to go. Consider, 78% of local searches made from a cellphone result in a real world purchase, according to a Search Engine Land study. With these simple to implement local SEO strategies, you can start enjoying the benefits of local SEO right away.
Three Local SEO Strategies You Need to Be Using
- Optimize All of the “Little Things” on Your Website
- Promote Reviews of Your Business on Respected Directories
- Take Steps to Build Links Ethically
First things first: you need to optimize all of the little features of your website that will make you more searchable to a local audience. This includes choosing a great URL for your homepage. Say, for example, you run “Alfred’s Smoked Fish and Things” in Juneau, Alaska. To maximize your search potential, your URL should relate to that name — something like AlfredsFishAlaska.com would work quite well.
Too many businesses make the mistake of thinking they shouldn’t encourage online reviews of their businesses. A cursory glance at some of the more volatile, troll-ish reviewers, and it’s not hard to understand why. However, as Forbes writes, Google takes reviews into consideration when listing businesses. Good or bad, reviews can help generate the buzz your business needs to get noticed. As an added bonus, review sites are a powerful platform for responding to customer thoughts, positive or negative, and demonstrating that you care about your customers.
Even as SEO has evolved to be more focused on content, links are still seen as a key indicator of the value of websites. Even so, you can’t use the outdated, unethical practices of the past if you want to succeed. Producing great content, engaging users and other businesses online, and demonstrating yourself as a source in your industry will allow you to build quality links overtime, according to Huffington Post, and that will make a big difference in the efficacy of your local SEO strategies.
Are you a local SEO consultant? What advice would you give to small businesses looking to succeed? Share your expertise with us in the comments below! Read more like this.