How to Leverage Local SEO to Promote Your Small Business

General Jun 10, 2017 No Comments

Local SEO for Small BusinessIf you’re determined to leverage local SEO to promote your small business, then you’re making an intelligent effort that could drastically transform your company’s growth potential.

SEO is one of the most powerful marketing mediums. With people actively searching what your business has to offer, attaining top search engine placement can lead to highly-qualified traffic to your site and a wealth of new business.

Investing in a local SEO program to grow your local business requires a comprehensive approach. Below we outline some of the various strategies and techniques required to actualize a successful local SEO plan for your small business.

Establish an “Optimized” Web Presence

Optimization carries many meanings in the world of SEO. From a big-picture perspective, establishing an optimized web presence for your business includes:

  • Having a website that’s technically-fluid from an HTML perspective
  • Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly or responsive on all mobile devices
  • Leveraging Schema markup to better communicate your site’s content to search engines
  • Using CTAs and other conversion touch-points to ensure users can contact your business
  • Making use of internal linking and providing good navigation/usability on your site

The above, in a nutshell, are important aspects of establishing an optimized web presence. This will serve as the foundation for you Nashville business, while helping to ensure all other SEO strategies realize their full potential.

Get Listed

Having a well-optimized website can only get you so far with SEO. In fact, most of the factors that determine a site’s search engine rankings are off-site. These are the links, citations, and signals that are found on other websites, and refer back to your site.

When you get your small business listed on various directories and other related sites, you can earn what are called “citations.” That’s the technical term for mentions of your business’ name, address, and phone. The more citations your business earns on other websites (i.e. chamber of commerce site, Yelp.com, press release, etc.) the more credibility your business will have in the Google local search results.

Google uses citations as a ranking factor in it’s local search results (also commonly known as the Google 3-Pack.) The important thing to keep in mind is ensuring all citations are both accurate and consistent. Any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in your Name, Address, and Phone number will have diminished SEO value.

Generate Links

Link BuildingPart of getting listed on other sites throughout the web includes generating backlinks. For instance, not only does getting listed on Yelp.com provide citation, but also a valuable link back to your website.

Links, or backlinks, are referrals from other websites that indicate to search engines how popular, credible, and authoritative your site is. Having a high volume of backlinks from relevant sources will help your local SEO efforts.

While getting listed provides an easy win for link generation, acquiring authoritative links from relevant sites can take persistence and work. Networking, outreach, and guest authorship are just a few ways to cultivate valuable link opportunities that can drastically impact your Nashville SEO strategy.

Create Content

Content Marketing for Local SEOAnother way to generate links is to earn them. By creating exceptional content that gains favor among the masses, people may link to your site naturally. While this is a beautiful thing, it is much easier said then done.

In short, craft a content strategy for your business website. This may focus on weekly blog posts, monthly videos, or podcasting. At the very least, refreshing your website with new content gives Google a reason to come back more frequently to crawl and index your site.

So even if you’re not earning links as a result of your content strategy, you can still supplement your local SEO efforts by keeping your site fresh. New content also gives you something worthy to share on social media.

Be Social

Local Social Media MarketingBringing your content strategy and link acquisition efforts together is social media. You need to spread the word about your content and share it relentlessly throughout the web.

If you lack an abundance of social media followers, you can try “boosting” or advertising your posts to new audiences using ad platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Think of this investment as a brand building opportunity that can increase the overall value of your business.

Lastly, SEO is more about brand building. Producing amazing content and building a strong social media presence can have a direct impact on your local SEO strategy. In a competitive local search market, these channels will be vital assets to give your business the edge it needs to be a strong contender for top rankings.

3 Insights to Help You Rethink Your Local SEO Strategy in 2014

General Dec 28, 2013 No Comments

Local SEO Insights for 2014Local SEO is a unique subset of search engine optimization. The way in which Google determines local business listings (paired with the map and little push-pins) is different from traditional organic SEO.

In 2013, local SEO strategies centered on citations and ensuring your business is listed on several top directories (i.e. Google+ Local [formally Google Places,] Yelp, Yahoo! Local, etc.) While investing the time to get listed on the top local business directories is important, it will only take your local SEO efforts so far, especially if your in a competitive marketspace.

In short, you need start looking at your local SEO efforts from a different perspective. Below are 3 significant insights to keep top of mind when embracing local SEO in 2014.

Be Active and Involved on Social Media Sites

Although many local businesses see the importance of having a presence on social media sites, many of them fail to be active and involved. The narrow-minded SEO perspective would think “Okay, our Yelp page is built. We now have a citation and a link back to our site. Done.”.

But what if you could do more to increase the authority of your Yelp page, and thus the SEO value of that citation and link back to your site?

You can.

By being active and involved with your audience, and optimizing your social media pages from every angle, you can greatly empower their SEO potential. How, exactly? Start by:

  • Reaching out and connecting (following, liking, encircling, etc.) with other respectable businesses and professionals
  • Optimizing images and uploading them to your social media pages
  • Encourage reviews from satisfied customers (perhaps by implementing an incentive program)
  • Build a following (or better yet, a community) and engage with your audience
  • Take advantage of promotions via social media networks (like Google Offers or Facebook Coupons)

Social media business pages offer immense authority for local SEO. Heck, there are some business Yelp pages out there that have a Google PR (PageRank) of 5 (and the link is DoFollow!). That’s some serious link juice compared to commonly stagnant PR 1 Yelp pages.

Lastly, earning social credibility (or social authority) is becoming a strong factor that Google uses to determine search engine rankings. Many organic SEO experts are seeing a correlation between search engine rankings and the number of Twitter and Facebook followers, Google +1’s, etc.

Local Citations Are Good, But Links Are Better

Just like traditional SEO, the amount and quality of external links pointing to a website is ultimately the greatest influence of its search engine rankings. Once you’ve gotten your business established on the top local business directories for SEO, spend some time determining various link assets for your business’s website.

Some of the best assets for local SEO include:

    • Investing in a membership at your local chamber of commerce. Members often get a listing (and a link) on the chamber website (which is both authoritative and locally relevant.)
    • Reaching out to other local businesses and professionals for guest blogging opportunities. Building these relationships are huge long-term asset for not only SEO, but marketing in general.
    • Becoming a local source for news, information, or advice. If people see value in the content you’re publishing, you can actually earn links back to your site. Think of your business as the online authority figure of what you do. If it’s DUI law, own it with videos and articles that help individuals understand their legal rights.

The last tip above stems into our next insight: becoming a content marketer.

Create Purposeful Content That Offers Value

You may be familiar with the old SEO catchphrase “Content is King!”. While that concept still holds true, its focus has changed.

It’s less about writing 700 word webpages that are jammed with keywords. Rather, it’s more about producing purposeful content that offers value to your target audience. More bluntly put, it’s all about mastering the craft of content marketing and creating meaningful content that resonates with other people.

Get yourself in the right mindset by contemplating the following questions:

        • What problems, issues, or questions does my target market have?
        • How can I help those individuals based on what I know and the resources that I have?
        • What forms of content would best get my message across in the most engaging manner?

Think about the local businesses that are owning it in both Google Search and social media sites. They are typically businesses that are constantly producing awesome articles, blog posts, videos, graphics, or podcasts, and they’re actively promoting this content on social media.

Rethink Local SEO in 2014

To rethink your business’s local SEO strategy in 2014, view your organization’s entire marketing plan. How much time and money do you have invested in traditional forms of marketing and advertising?

Perhaps you can generate ideas that can put greater emphasis on building an online content marketing strategy and building a legit social media presence. Although these efforts might seem like exclusive tactics, both most certainly influence local SEO (and will even more in 2014.)