Recent Clutch survey reveals that “29% of small business enterprises still don’t have websites and 17% out of the 71% of it don’t have a responsive website.” It only means that digital marketing has not been taken seriously by various small businesses. However, this is quite understandable. Aside from possible lack of technical skills, monetary issues can also top their reason. If huge companies can make some risks when it comes to investing, things are different when it comes to small businesses. Each penny to be spent has to be well – thought as a just single wrong move can already destroy the whole company. Having said that, every investment must be appropriately planned.
Be that as it may, when it comes to digital marketing, every small business owner like you probably wonders, “Does my company really need an SEO?”
WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
SEO is what can increase the likelihood of consumers and client to find your small business’ website through Google, Bing and some other main search engines. If these potential customers/clients are using search engines to look for what they need online, SEO can ensure that your business would appear in their search results. If leveraged well with SEO, your services and products will be visible on top of the results.
HOW ABOUT LOCAL SEO
But before beginning to invest time, effort and budget to SEO, small businesses must realize too the need to optimize their sites locally. Local SEO is different from general SEO in the way that the local audience is targeted in the SEO strategies. As articulated from Search Engine Land, “local SEO is more about influencing your website’s authority in the local geographic region.”
Simply put: Let’s suppose you’re running a company with SEO services and want to rank that certain page. Instead of using the keyword “SEO” with huge competition, it’s better to utilize a more specific and targeted keyword. If you’re targeting local clients from the Philippines, you can use “SEO Philippines” then optimize your complete online business on these search terms.
For those who are only getting started with local business SEO, below are some strategies for you to adapt:
OPTIMIZE YOUR SITE
Optimize your site with local keywords in Meta tags and content which can be searched using a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner so you can build a strong presence online. Consider executing SEO audit then list and study pages with the title and description in a separate column. Optimize the Meta tags next including the Title, Description with the local keywords to appear higher in the search engine result pages.
The content of the site should be optimized together with the information about the local areas your business serves. It may include local attractions, news and/ or local events. Sharing the localized content will improve the visibility of the site in the relevant target audience.
STRENGTHEN LINK BUILDING
If someone links your site to their site which is of high authority, then you gain trust to your site. You can perform as well the SEO audit then analyze competitors’ backlinks so you can utilize them in link building strategies. This will aid in building the quality links to improve the authority of your site and its position in the search engines.
The more quality links you get, the more credits you will gain for providing authority and relevance to your audience. It will thus improve your rank. If you get a chance to host or attend an event, then you can ask the clients and colleagues to link your business to their site; just make sure they’ll be able to find relevant contents that are worthy of linking and sharing.
BUILD A STRONG SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Never forget to create business profiles on top social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.
Learn to post your business’ new products and/ or services so you can boost your sales. In addition to that, netizens usually inquire on social media so it’s important to keep those profiles active. Respond to queries and continue interaction with your audience and followers. Those post engagements, traffic, social media shares, and active followers will do great in your search rank.
GENERATE ONLINE REVIEWS
Ask your clients, especially those super satisfied ones, to leave reviews after deals and transactions. These will help boost the rankings of your site in local search results. It’s better if you can provide them with a link or all the profiles so they get to choose their favorite social media or other online platforms in writing reviews.
If you ever receive some negative comments and reviews, that are only inevitable, respond still and address to them. It is always important to keep the reviews authentic and avoid having the fake reviews as it will have the negative effect on the visibility of your site. If there’s a mistake with the service, consider apologizing and encourage them to try your services again. If they get satisfied the next time, chances are they’ll edit their previous bad reviews about your business.
Abiding these local SEO tips will absolutely improve small businesses’ visibility in the search engines. The results may not come right away but consistency in tactics will surely make your business top the local search results.