Most of the time, you don’t want to trust any service claiming to be cheap and fast. If these words are used in the same sentence, the claim is probably too good to be true. But when it comes to getting ahead on Google and raising your place in search results, the cheap and fast solution is not only both of those things, it actually works.
What is Local SEO?
When you go to Google and search for something like, “plumbers near me,” the first things to pop up are not even businesses, they’re ads, they’re maps, they’re Yelp and Home Advisor results. Yelp and Home Advisor spend millions of dollars to get those spots, in turn squeezing out the little guy.
You can’t spend millions of dollars, and that’s ok. Remember that map? You can show up there without spending the big bucks. You just need to be mindful of your local SEO.
Local SEO is any marketing done across across the web that promotes a physical business that makes face-to-face contact with customers. If you meet with your customers directly, rather than doing business online, you’re a local business and there are specific tricks and techniques you need to use to help potential customers find you on the internet. Even if you don’t conduct business online, that’s where your customers are looking for you.
To improve your local SEO and get found online, there are a few areas you need focus on…and they are all cheap and easy to optimize.
Your Google Business Profile
You just have to optimize your Google Local Profile. A complete Google Business Profile is one of the cornerstones of a local ranking strategy. When yours is filled in correctly, you’re more likely to show up in the map, above all those results we mentioned. Even above Yelp and Home Advisor. All you have to do is fill in all the things you already know about your business.
Just go to google.com/business/
The Right Information
When you get to your profile, make sure all the information is filled in. This information will include:
- Business Name, Address, Phone Number
- Business hours
- Service area
The first bullet in this list is particularly important should be consistent across the internet. Also known as NAP, your business name, address, and phone number should be the same on your website, Facebook, Google, and anywhere else you are listed. This builds your credibility not only with customers, but also with Google.
92% of customers read online reviews and if those reviews are bad, they will take their business elsewhere based solely on those review. 40% of those customers form their opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews. Given those numbers, you can’t afford to ignore the review section on Google.
Customer reviews not only tell new customers everything they need to know about your business, they are also one of the most influential internet factors for local businesses. The number of reviews you earn impacts your local search rating. If you haven’t spent a lot of time acquiring reviews, here are a few ways to get started.
The first thing you need to do is get reviews. Asking your happy customers to leave reviews on Google can help boost your SEO and get you found by more local customers. To get reviews, you might have to spend some time on customers outreach but you can also set up an automated email sequence that sends out requests for reviews after a transaction.
Respond to Reviews
It’s also important to spend some time responding to reviews, especially those of those of unhappy customers. You can offer solutions to their complaints, or offer discounts that will encourage them to give you another chance. But don’t just focus on the bad. Thank happy customers for doing business with you and let them know you appreciate them.
Mobile Optimization and Speed
Over 60% of all internet searches take place on a mobile device. 60%. And what happens if a site won’t work on a user’s phone? They leave. And they find a different business who has a better mobile site.
Users don’t like waiting and Google doesn’t like sites that make them wait; they even penalize sites that take too long to load.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Get a step ahead of your competitors and earn a higher ranking on Google by making sure your mobile site is up-to-date, loads fast (we’re talking 3 seconds), and is easy to read.
There seems to be a misconception that you don’t need to worry about keywords anymore. That’s just not true.
While you shouldn’t use keywords just for the sake of keywords, you should use the right keywords in the right spots across your website. This is called SEO optimization and it will help you get found in more online searches.
A good blog can give you a significant SEO boost. Know why? Because many of your competitors don’t have one.
It’s true. You should be blogging, but most people aren’t.
maintaining a blog gives Google more content to index, you more opportunity to rank for different keywords, and provides helpful guidance to customers and prospects who are trying to figure out how to solve the problems you can help them with.
Maintaining a good blog sends signals to the search engines that you’re working hard to provide great service to a relevant group of customers and Google will start to recognize that.Kinda seems like a no brainer, right?
These are just a few of the things you can do to improve you Local SEO and get found by your customers on Google.