When you think of SEO, chances are good that you think of things like page content optimization for industry-related keywords, or perhaps even image alt tag optimization. Those are certainly part of the equation, but for local business owners, there’s more to know. Local SEO has become incredibly important to master, and many business owners are left in the dark. Here are five things that all business owners need to know about local SEO.
1. NAP is the most crucial consideration when it comes to online listings.
Wondering what NAP stands for, and how it affects your business? That’s an excellent sign that you have not mastered local SEO. It’s an acronym that stands for name, address, and phone number. Those are the trifecta that dictates success for any small, local business trying to establish an online presence and appear in relevant search results. However, perhaps even more important is that this information is consistent across online listings. Your business name, address, phone number and even website URL need to be the same from listing to listing, or it can reduce your results.
2. Your site content needs to reflect your locality to some degree.
This is one that you should be aware of, particularly if you already have a website. Your site’s content needs to reflect your location to help improve your visibility in search results. Yes, you need to have a Contact Us page with your address, business name, phone number, and other pertinent details, but you also need to make sure that your local presence is driven home through your blog post content, article content, page content and more. Just don’t overdo it and compromise content quality in the process.
3. Local optimization requires more than just repeating the name of the locality.
To optimize successfully for a local business, you need to go beyond simply repeating the name of your town or city over and over again. Google’s gotten pretty sophisticated, and can tell if you’re trying to game the system. Optimize with things like street names, the names of other businesses, local events and the like.
4. Focus on long-tail keywords.
There’s a temptation to focus on shorter keywords – XXX in Atlanta, or XXX in Austin for instance. That’s fine to some extent, but you really want to target some of those long-tail keywords. Use something like Google’s keyword planner to ferret out relevant search terms and then work them into your content so that they make sense.
5. Customer reviews matter, particularly when you can include city and state information.
Customer reviews provide social proof for potential customers, but they can also play an important role in local SEO. Highlight customer reviews on your website, but make sure that you do more than include just the customer’s name. You should include city and state information to further cement your business’ location.
As you can see, there’s a lot to master when it comes to local SEO, and the five tips above are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.