Many businesses dump resources into marketing when they should work on local SEO. Bringing efforts down to the local level puts your business against fewer competitors. One would think this limits growth but it’s furthest from the truth.

Go, now, and research your town’s population… Got it?

Now imagine the possibilities of reaching that sample of potential customers. There are thousands of leads. Converting a fraction of your town’s population could see tremendous success and profitability.

The best part?

Getting in front of people isn’t difficult if you’re investing in local SEO strategies.

In this article, you’ll learn eight strategies for dominating your local market. And, how to add these marketing strategies to your existing, online efforts. Ready to grow your business with fewer competitors? Read on…

From Neighbour to Customers: 8 Local SEO Strategies for Small Business

Did you know? 80% of people use search engines to find a local product or service according to a survey by eMarketer. Of those, more than half visited a local store within 24-hours.

Imagine the potential if your business ranked #1 in the search query! That’s the value of local SEO bringing us to the following strategies:

#1: Get It Listed

All other efforts build on having your business listed in local listing platforms. This is a quick process — often taken 10 minutes or less per platform. What you’ll need is the NAP (Name, address, phone) and stamina to fill in the listing.

Where do you submit the business listing?

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Apple Maps
  • Angie’s List

… and several others you’ll find by searching “submit my business”. Otherwise, you can use professional services or automated tools for the submissions.

The listing should include:

  • NAP & URL
  • Detailed description
  • Photos and video
  • Keywords & category

Have these and you’re one-step ahead of the competition since many allow these sites to autogenerate profiles.

#2: Get Initial Reviews

Web users are looking for reviews alongside business listings. Listings without reviews are typically overlooked. A single review can create the same effect.

How do you get initial reviews?

  • Email your customers and ask for one
  • Include a follow-up email or page to remind them
  • Ask for it on your social media channels
  • Include a paper with each order asking for it

Many can’t be bothered while others forget. The simple act of asking for reviews can fill in the listings early on. Subsequent reviews will happen as operations continue. And, when customers feel inclined to add their experience.

#3: Manage the Reviews

Positive and negative reviews are bound to come through the channels. Both should warrant a response:

  • Praise the positive reviews
  • Damage control the negative reviews

This response lets others see how your business hands its praise and criticism. Sometimes the response convinces a disgruntled customer to retry your product or services. Else, clarifies issues new leads have to your business.

#4: Create Localized Content

Businesses love creating content streams of basic topics. This gives them enough action in search listings. But, places them against bigger brands with even bigger content marketing budgets.

Your business should tailor content to the locals — by way of:

  • Including local references
  • Highlighting local customers
  • Using local terms & landmarks

A “Buy Bicycles” post becomes “Buy Bicycles in Worthing, West Sussex”. The process is the same with a few, added call-outs to your area.

#5: Backlink to the Localized Content

Use the same content development strategy in your outreach efforts. Use localized keywords when linking back to your content. And, get these pieces published on local sites adding relevancy in the links.

Use this outreach to build relationships with fellow business owners, too. Then, leverage the connection and get social coverage. This creates a referral chain leading to more sales and reviews!

#6: Add More Media

Listing platforms allow business and crowdsourced media submissions. This media helps potential visitors understand what your business offers. The media also adds openness and engagement.

Do this:

  1. Take and submit photos and video to the listing platform
  2. Ask customers to add their media alongside reviews
  3. Hire pro media creators to shoot and add high-quality media

The recent trend is in 360-degree and drone footage. But, a couple extra pictures in and outside the location suffice. Do this regularly!

#7: Optimize for Featured Snippets

A featured snippet shows results for high-value pages — this is position #0.

Getting featured happens two ways:

  • Luck (like being the only provider in the area)
  • Optimization

You can’t rely on luck so you’re best off optimizing pages to include relevant keywords. An easy-to-read page structure and SCHEMA markup help, too.

Small factors helping your business land the featured spot include:

  • Speeding up the site delivery
  • Switching to HTTPs for security
  • Using tables and/or Q&A

#8: Audit and Revise

Don’t neglect your listings!

Update local listings and content if there’s been a major development. This could include changing locations, hours of operation, and provided offers.

Audit and revise your listings on a predetermined date — quarterly or yearly — to ensure it’s up-to-date.

Do-It-Yourself Local SEO vs Professional Services: The Pros and Cons

Online search and business listing platforms are designed for ease-of-use. An owner, with free time, could list their biz without technical know-how and reap rewards. But, are these activities worth the time with other priorities on their list?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of handing the local SEO work to professionals? Let’s take a look…

DIY Pros:

  • You’ll use industry-standard wording
  • Listings will feel natural and welcoming
  • Costs are small and tools a-la-carte

DIY Cons:

  • Large time commitment
  • Campaign dedication
  • Inexperienced strategies

Pro’s Pros:

  • Strategy standardization & consistency
  • Experienced with proven tactics
  • Access to better, industry tools

Pro’s Cons:

  • Higher up-front and recurring costs
  • May not align with values and style
  • A new team to manage

The budget will ultimately dictate which direction you choose. The basic strategies are done easily enough. Though, on-going commitment tends to be the limiting factor — campaigns often require months to see real results.

Want Results with Local SEO? Get in Touch

We’ve covered an extensive list of local SEO strategies. Many small business owners can do on their own. But, time is money and resources are thin. Each day your businesses forgo marketing efforts is another contributor to less revenue.

We’re Samson Web Design and we create stellar local SEO campaigns.

Let’s get in touch.

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