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Local SEO: Optimizing Your Website for Local Search

local-seo-tips-for-small-business-owners

Local SEO is all about effectively promoting your services to your local customers. It’s a matter of honing in your marketing strategy to target potential buyers in your area and optimizing your website to ensure that when someone is looking for your local business, they find you.

Here are a few tips to help you optimize your website for local search: 

A Mobile Friendly Website

First and foremost, you want to ensure that your website is mobile friendly. We live in a cross-screen world with mobile searches happening constantly. According to a study conducted by Nielsen and Google Canada, 80% of mobile searches happened even with a computer available. We are turning to our phones because it is faster and more convenient. With 78% of searches occurring in a store – you want your website to be readily accessible online, especially when people are grabbing their cell phones to look you up on the go.  

Use Keywords Strategically

Think like a customer in this case. What words would your ideal customer type into Google or Bing to find you? Those are the words you want to be using throughout your website’s copy. While you want to sprinkle your site’s content with the keywords that are relevant to your business and its location, you don’t want to douse your copy with them. Search algorithms are smart enough to detect when content is saturated in keywords and consider the stuff spam. So don’t be the guy who’s a “Calgary plumber, specializing in Calgary plumbing services, throughout Calgary and area.” It’s too much. Write for people, NOT for search engines.

Google My Business Profile

Claim, verify and optimize your Google My Business page for local listings. If you haven’t looked at your profile in a while, do and then make sure that your services are in the correct category and that your contact information is up to date. Also claim your Google + profile and populate it with as much information as you can – ensuring that you’ve included the area of service you provide and your contact details.

Optimize Your Social Profiles for Local SEO

Don’t forget about optimizing your social networking profiles. Whether you’re on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. you want to make sure you optimize each of your social network profiles and their relevant “about” sections. Include your location in these details and also the services you provide. If you set up your social network profiles a while ago, go back and do an audit to ensure that this vital information was included when you first set up your accounts – if it isn’t there – change that.

Your NAP Should Be On Every Page

NAP isn’t a mysterious techie acronym – it means your business:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number

These details should appear on every page of your website, do not reserve this vital information for just your homepage and contact page. Consistent NAP information is essential to getting more citations and improving search engine rankings. Not only does it help with your local SEO but it also means if your customers want to make an inquiry they can do so instantly rather than having to navigate to another page.

Get Reviews

Nothing is better than getting a nod from a real life person. Let’s face it, when we acquire a thumbs-up or a referral from a fellow human being, we place more trust in a business. I myself, inside a store, will take to the net when I’m trying to decide between 2 similar products. I’ll read reviews because I trust customer reviews. As a small business, your online reputation can directly influence your bottom line. Local search engines love online reviews because customers love online reviews. If you don’t already have a review acquisition strategy in place, simply type into Google “your industry” + “reviews” to see which websites the search engine populates. From there, add yourself to these directories and solicit your customers to write reviews when they are happy with your business. Customers can also add reviews via your Google + page which is another reason you should have this profile set up for your business.