When it comes to building leads and landing sales, nothing beats local SEO.
While you may think you know what SEO is and what it requires, local SEO is different. It’s what connects customers with your business, and connects you to your local community.
As Google continues to seek to improve the results they deliver to web surfers. As a result, local SEO strategies are only going to continue to become more and more essential for small businesses.
Investing in professional local SEO services can lead to a big increase in leads, web traffic, and sales.
If you’re ready to start improving your website’s local SEO strategies, keep reading. We’re breaking down 10 secrets to local SEO that every small business needs to succeed.
1. Start with the Right Keywords
If you know anything about SEO, then you know that you’ll need keywords. But one of the most important secrets to local SEO services is choosing the right keywords to represent your business.
Anyone with knowledge of SEO knows that the goal is to choose keywords that represent your business and/or website. But those keywords need to be more than just your interpretation of which words represent your business or website.
As a business or website owner, your idea of what it represents may be different than what your customers think of it. For effective local SEO services, you need to choose the keywords that customers would actually type in when searching for a website or business like yours.
For instance, you might think that the best keywords for your pet website are “dog owner advice” or “cat tips.” But when web surfers run a search, they’re usually not looking for general advice.
Instead, they might search for topics like “best dog food” or “most popular cat breeds.”
Customizing your keyword choices to match the real searches that web surfers are likely to type in can help make sure that your website lands among the top search engine results.
2. Create a Solid Foundation
Before you can start implementing your perfect keywords choices or boosting traffic to your website, you need a solid foundation.
Starting with a well-designed website that’s optimized for local SEO services can be the difference between success or getting lost in cyberspace.
Effective web design means meeting several important guidelines. One is having an easy to find navigation menu. This helps visitors to your website navigate your pages.
Another important guideline is to make it clear what your website and your company are about. Web surfers shouldn’t have to search for the purpose of your website. If they do, they’ll be likely to go elsewhere for the services that they’re looking for.
Neglecting most of these guidelines won’t get you flagged by Google’s algorithms for ranking websites. This means that these issues may not affect where your website gets ranked by search engines.
What these issues will affect is your web traffic. Getting web surfers to your website isn’t enough; you need to keep them there.
If they can’t find what they’re looking for, or can’t navigate your website, they won’t stay for long.
If you don’t have web design experience, it’s best to get professional help. A professional web designer will be able to help ensure that you have a high-quality foundation on which to build the rest of your local SEO strategies.
3. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
With a solid foundation and the right keywords in place, it’s time to start adding content.
A mistake that many website owners make when trying to implement local SEO services is to create tons of contents loaded with keywords right away.
But one of the most important SEO secrets that you can learn is that quality is more important than quantity.
Just as effective web design helps to keep visitors on your site, so does useful, high-quality content.
Create content that visitors to your site are likely to find helpful or interesting. Then, integrate keywords into that content in a way that is natural. While you’ll want to repeat keywords several times in each piece of content that you produce, avoid overdoing it.
Too many keywords in a small space will leave your content sounding like spam, and could even get you flagged by Google.
4. Don’t Forget the Titles and Tags
Local SEO services often focus on implementing keywords into the body of content on a website. But few website owners remember to implement SEO tactics when writing titles and tags as well.
Google’s algorithms give priority to titles and tags when determining the rank of websites for any given keyword.
Inserting keywords in titles, and not neglecting them in your tags, can help boost your rank. But it isn’t as simple as simply listing the keywords.
There are a few other elements that your titles need besides just a keyword. For effective local SEO services, you’ll also need to list your location.
Your location, both in your page titles and title tags, is what lets Google know that you’re targeting local Seo services. Otherwise, you’ll be competing with every other website online that uses those keywords.
When writing your title tags, you’ll need your chosen keyword, location, zip code, and state, if you want to ensure that you’ll rank high in local results for your chosen keyword.
5. Make it Mobile
When it comes to optimizing local SEO services for a website, most website owners work from a laptop or desktop. But this can sometimes lead them to neglect an even more important device; smartphones.
Statistics show that 87 percent of smartphone owners use a search engine on their device at least once a day.
Many of those searches are local ones. They use their cell phones to look for the nearest restaurant or to find a store that sells their favorite products.
When they run these mobile searches, you need to make sure that your website is ready for them. This means ensuring that your site is optimized for mobile viewing.
Once again, if you don’t have web design experience this is best left to a local SEO service professional.
Once your website is optimized for mobile use, make sure that you check your site regularly. Changes to your website and updates to your platform or plugins can affect your site’s speed. In turn, it can also affect your mobile website’s function.
6. Get Google on Board
Once you’ve optimized your own website for local SEO, it’s time to make sure that your information is correct elsewhere on the web. Start with Google.
Google’s billions of daily web visitors depend on the search engine to provide accurate local information. Ensuring that your business’ information is correct on Google is essential. Otherwise, you may end up losing potential customers if you send them to the wrong website or physical address.
Check to make sure that your URL is accurate. If your business has a physical address this, as well as your business’ phone number.
You can register as a business owner on Google, and add your email address to your account. That way you’ll get notified when someone tries to contact your business or leaves a review.
Another great function of Google is the chance to upload photos of your business. Entice potential customers with photos of your food or products or snapshots of your services in action.
7. Don’t Neglect Other Directories
Once you’ve updated your business’ listing on Google, do the same in other directories, search engines, and on social media.
Check out sites like, Facebook, Yahoo, and any other destinations that you can think of. Check your URL, address, and phone number.
Additionally, if the web destination allows it, register your email address. This means that if any inquiries, reviews, or other information is submitted to that web destination, they’ll send you an alert. Like on Google, many of these destinations also allow you to upload photos of your business, products, or services.
Some of these destinations allow you to upload even more, like product lists or menus.
If it seems like there are endless possibilities for where your customers or clients might search for you, you’re nearly right. There are enough possible destinations that it can be tough to find and update them all on your own.
Professional local marketing services can help. They’re experts on the destinations where web surfers might look for you. They know how to quickly and effectively make sure that these destinations are updated.
With their help, you won’t have to worry about losing out on potential customers as a result of misinformation.
8. Encourage Reviews
While many of the reviews that you’ll get won’t be on your website, they can still go a long way towards supporting local SEO services.
Experts estimate that around 10 percent of Google’s factors are reviews.
Unlike other local SEO tactics, these aren’t something that you can complete on your own. Instead, you’ll need to implement strategies for encouraging reviews from your customers or clients.
Social media can be a great place to encourage reviews. Facebook allows users to write reviews and rate a website on a five-star scale.
Asking your customers to review you by email after a purchase was made is one great tactic. Including links to places that they can review your business, like Facebook or Google, is a great tactic as well.
Reviews are great for more than just local SEO. Statistics show that 88 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.
9. Invest in Professional Help
Completing each of these 10 secrets to local SEO services for small businesses can be tough. When you’re busy starting or running your business, managing employees, or just completing the day-to-day operations of your business, it can be overwhelming.
Luckily, professional local SEO services can help.
You’ll get experts on local SEO strategies. This means less time spent learning and researching the best strategies.
You’ll get management of your SEO tactics. That means more free time for completing other business demands.
Choosing to invest in professional help to build your website, implement local SEO, and keep your website running can be a great way to boost traffic to your site without committing hours of your personal or business time to working on your site on your own.
10. Don’t Give Up
SEO is far from an overnight success.
Even if you implement the perfect SEO strategy with the help of a professional, you’ll still need to invest time and effort into developing SEO tactics and improving your search engine ranking.
If you don’t experience immediate success, don’t give up. Continue creating high-quality content and adjusting your keywords and strategies.
It could be that you started with the wrong keywords. Or that changing trends have made your keywords irrelevant.
It could also be that your competitors are also working over time.
Sometimes even with the perfect keywords, you won’t see much upward motion in your Google ranking.
When you find that your keywords aren’t performing, you have a few options. If you are implementing SEO strategies on your own, you could try out tons of other keywords and combinations, and hope for success.
Or you could invest in professional help. Professional SEO experts understand keywords, trends, and how to adjust a keyword approach. You’ll get results faster, and with less stress, than if you opted to go it alone.
Find the Right Local SEO Services for Your Website
Now that you know the 10 secrets to local SEO services, it’s time to start developing your own strategies and plan.
SEO isn’t an overnight success. Instead, it’s an ongoing process that requires plenty of hard work and determination. If you want to improve your search engine ranking, there’s no better time to start than the present. The faster you start implementing local SEO strategies, the faster you’ll start seeing results.
You could develop these strategies on your own. Or you could choose to invest in professional help.
If you need killer web design, customized SEO strategies, or proven local marketing tactics, contact us today. We’ll help boost traffic to your site, increase your search engines rank, and ultimately, increase sales.