January 19, 2016
Small businesses may lack the deep pockets of their big counterparts but surely not the zeal and will to succeed. Such entities not only lack budget but also manpower thus, it’s not uncommon to find one person donning many hats at a time to somehow manage to get by.
They, however, can benefit from implementing a viable and cost-effective marketing strategy to grab their share of financial reward. Such enterprises benefit a great deal from leveraging local SEO and its finer points.
There are study-proven reasons galore why businesses should try this strategy:
• Some 80 percent of consumers seek help from search engines to find local information.
• One in every two consumers searches for local businesses on-the-go.
• One in every two Smartphone-using visitors who searched for a local business did visit the store that very day.
• One in every three desktop-bound visitors who searched for a local business did visit the store that very day.
• More users would reach your store if they knew it existed.
In essence, it’s important for your business to make its presence felt if you harbor any ambition of being either discovered or visited. Capitalizing on the ever-rising potential of local SEO will help a lot if optimized correctly.
Your small business should take some steps to get the best out of search engine marketing. They include:
Present yourself as a local business
One of the first steps to benefit from local SEO is to make attempts to present yourself as a local business. Your online store won’t become local merely by the virtue of serving customers from a specific area; your business presence has to be there. People’s awareness of your business too won’t qualify as a factor to make you local; rather it’s your physical presence that will. Always include your local address and local phone number in your website and on other channels.
Be precise and clear on your target
Local SEO benefits a great deal in cases where businesses are precise and clear on their target. It means, you have to either focus on a specific local market or specific location. A muddled approach can impact traffic, so make sure you’re clear on the traffic you wish to target and cater to. Such a problem often gets posed to a business working on a franchise or outlet model. In that case, it has to engage in a listing on a large scale.
Be consistent with NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number)
As your business is listed across sites and channels, make sure there is a level of consistency maintained with the NAP. You must never give different information on different sources because it might dilute your brand presence. Whether it’s social media, directories or maps – be consistent everywhere, with style, font, color and texture.
List your business across channels
The more you list your business, the more it becomes visible. The more your business is listed, the more people find it. In a sense, you can’t afford not to list your business across directories. If you don’t, search engines won’t find you in results leading to fewer visits and losses that you could otherwise have avoided. Make sure you list your business across directories meant for your industry.
Claim your business listings
You should leverage the business listings to the core to benefit your brand. One way is by claiming those listings and updating the records on a timely basis. Herein, once you know the listings are complete and visible, put some markers in place to enable users locate you more easily. Doing that helps in boosting brand presence and brand value.
Benefit from Google but focus to other local search engines
It’s important to focus on scoring well on Google’s search results. You should, however, widen the horizon and aim for other search engines. There are other local search engines, including Bing, to benefit your business. That said, make sure your efforts with Google never dip beyond the point deemed to be standard. After all, it’s the Google results that will make the biggest difference.
Be precise and ‘local’ with your keywords
Using keywords properly is the key to success through local SEO. For instance, if you are a retailer of ‘low-priced CCTV cameras’ and you use the same as your keyword together with your country name, it won’t help. Using such competitive keywords won’t fetch you any ranking benefits unless you insert a local angle into it. If you however add your local info with the keyword, it becomes an extremely helpful keyword for you.
Going for multiple domain names
Going for multiple domain names becomes a viable option when your business has operation in many countries. In that case, a different domain name can be created for each website against their country of operation. If used ethically, this strategy can help your business a good deal. Don’t go for this method if you want to serve customers with a same domain.
Be regular with content posting
Fresh and original content is something that has virtually no replacement as a SEO tactic. The more content you write and feed to various sources, the more awareness is created about your business in search engines. The more blog posts, news, information and company activities you share, the higher rankings and visibility for your business. Make sure you use the right keywords within those posts or content to drive more traffic to your site.
It’s obvious that small businesses stand to gain a lot from local SEO if they put in some effort. As their marketing budget is not that deep, they can benefit from these tactics and methods to drive more business in organic way and take their brand visibility to more users. It’s time you understood the prospect-laden benefits of local SEO and went about investing your time with it. After all, you have to have some visitors on the website to make some money.
Abhilash Tyagi is a SEO specialist with years of experience. He consults and guides brands on planning, execution and implementation of best SEO services to help them with rankings and visibility.