Search engine optimization has been, and will apparently always be, a key part of any winning digital marketing strategy. There’s only so much you can achieve with paid advertising, after all, before you realize that you could be spending your money on a more organic, long-term marketing approach. SEO should, in fact, be the foundation of your marketing strategy, as it can help get your brand on the map, boost your visibility and authority, and help you build loyal customers and relationships with your audience.
However, it’s important to distinguish between general and local SEO. You need to invest in both nowadays to maximize your company’s potential in the oversaturated online world. However, as a small business, you should strive to succeed in your local market and capitalize on the opportunities within. Let’s take a look at how you can rank higher in local search and take your small business to new heights in 2021.
Make sure your information is consistent everywhere
There are many places around the web where people can find information about your business, Google included. But more on Google in a bit, right now, you want to focus on making your business information as consistent and accurate as possible across the board. This is called NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency, and it serves to provide the most basic info about your business to your potential customers, and let them know how they can get in touch.
Yes, people will search for your website and social media, but many will want to know your phone number and address if they want to get in touch quickly. If this information varies from platform to platform, then Google will be apprehensive in ranking you high in the search results, simply because it doesn’t know which information is accurate. Don’t confuse Google and don’t confuse your audience, instead, make sure to rank higher by updating all your business info, everywhere.
Create a Google My Business profile
One of the best and most fundamental ways to improve your chances of appearing in local search results is to create your profile on Google My Business, or claim an existing page on the platform. Google My Business is Google’s platform where all companies can register to provide valuable technical information to their customers, and directly help Google rank them higher.
Keep in mind that one of Google’s priorities is to deliver a stellar browsing experience to every user, and to do that, it needs to have your business info. On the GMB platform, you will have the opportunity to provide all sorts of valuable information about your business, so make sure to fill out every field. Provide images as well to further boost your credibility, provide a better user experience, and help rank your business higher in local search.
Weave localized keywords into your strategy
A vital part of every good SEO strategy is keyword research, integration, and continuous monitoring. You need to pick the right keywords, weave them into your copy and content strategy, and monitor your performance online so that you can update them and replace them with better keywords. Now, while many small business owners focus solely on general keywords, you want to focus on the local ones.
This is especially important to do when you’re trying to rank high in competitive local markets, and a great example would be Australia. Small business leaders need to localize their SEO, and for example in Brisbane, they will work with a digital marketing agency in Australia that can optimize their digital presence for the Brisbane market. They will make sure to do the same in every other city and region where they have a presence, and it’s important for you to use the same principle and localize your SEO strategy wherever you’re located.
Earn quality links on local websites
Another big part of your local SEO strategy should be backlinking. Building a backlink portfolio on a reputable, high-ranking website in your industry is a surefire way to improve your ranking. However, if you want to rank better locally, you should aim to earn those links on relevant local websites. The opportunities here are endless, so start reaching out to local business leaders and online publications where you can contribute a post or give an interview that will earn you a link back to your site.
Manage your reviews and online presence
Lastly, make sure to stay on top of your online reviews. This has become a big ranking factor for Google over the years, as the search engine will prioritize reputable businesses with stellar reviews. If you want to come out on top of the local search results, you need to respond to all reviews and address the negative ones to turn them into success stories.
Over to you
Ranking high in local search can take your small business forward and help you achieve your long-term goals. But you need to do it right. Be sure to use these tips to build brand visibility and authority in the local market, and capitalize on the numerous opportunities within.