Let’s be frank. Being a small business can be very difficult. Your competition has all the power in money, brand, recognition.
Making an impact might seem difficult but it’s still something any small business can accomplish. Although being smaller makes things more difficult on a national stage, there are plenty of local opportunities any small and mid size business should take advantage of.
It’s estimated that 30 to 40 percent of all search is made with local intent so understanding how local search works can be a huge advantage. Also, search engines are localizing their results even without an implicit request for locality.
Just so we are on the same page, local search is any search aimed at finding something within a specific geographic area. For example, “hair salon in Denver”. Topping the search results in your local area is more then possible if you understand and employ search engine optimization tactics with your locality in mind.
So How You Can Improve Your Local Search Rankings?
Here are 3 SEO tips:
- Localize Your Site Content
Providing your location information is not only good SEObut is something your visitors will want to know anyway. Tell them where you live and/or conduct your business. Be specific as to which area(s) you are relevant to. Add this information in either subtle or obvious way. It all depends on how “brick-and-mortar” you are and which page the info is on.Home page, contact and about pages are three most obvious locations where such info could and should be placed. Not only will it give something juicy to search engines but will also build trust and make you more credible with your visitors.
- Create and Claim Your Local Business Listings
You would be surprised by how many businesses do not create a local listing with Google Local and Yahoo Local. If you are a “brick and mortar” type of a business this really is a must. You don’t even have to have a website to take advantage of this service.With Google local, enter in as much relevant information about your business as you can, including street address, contact numbers, pictures, URL. Be mindful of categories you list your business under, and include a keyword rich title and description for your listing.
Best of the Web Local, SuperPages, CitySearch, InfoUSA, YellowPages, Localeze, Local.com, Insider Pages, Open List, CitySquares and Yelp all offer businesses the opportunity to create accurate listings in their indexes as well so take advantage. The more places you list your website with, the better.
- Get Mentioned by Others – Power of Local Citations
Aside from including localized content and being listed with all (and more if you can) the websites mentioned above, it is very beneficial for your business / website to be mentioned by other site. Whether it’s a local chamber of commerce, local business association or any other location where local information is found, those citations will be very rewarding (even if there is no direct link to your website) to your SEO efforts.
Cover all those basics and you will be on your way to dominating the local market in your industry. And of course do other things that you would normally do to market your business: include your website info in your email signature, on brochures and business cards, tell your family, friends and customers about it. Just because you are small doesn’t mean that you cannot be big on a local turf!