Local SEO tips for busy entrepreneurs
We’ve all heard of local SEO, which is search engine optimization. Bloggers or business owners use keywords and/or phrases to draw people into their websites and products. Simple, right? But how does that differ from local SEO? Well, the difference comes down to this: local SEO for a blog is not geographic to one region. The blog owner could be sitting behind a computer in Berlin or San Francisco and sell products to customers all around the world. But local SEO, on the other hand, means that a small business is centric to their community. If they are in Chicago, most of their customers come from within Chicago, Illinois. How do improve your local SEO?
First, you must submit your business to local directories. The Yellow Pages and Yelp are two directories that immediately come to mind. Both of these have applications across the board on all tablets and phones. These days physical phone books may as well be obsolete. Everyone uses an online directory to look up a business. Why? Because if a customer was pleased with you, they praise you and give you five stars. But, should you not fulfill their expectations of delightful customer service, watch out for the slams and insults that may fly your way. They won’t stop short of throwing you under the bus and giving you the lowest rating possible. So, to avoid this, treat them with kindness—as you would any family member or close friend.
You also want to have a social media presence. This is important whether you’re a business with 1,000 employees or a business with 5-10 employees. If you’re not on social media, how will your customers know you exist? Plan on creating business pages on the top 6 social networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram andGoogle+. You don’t have to check in all the time, but at least post content 1-2 times a week. If you find having these pages is too much, hire a social media manager. The thing is, your audience isn’t just going to be on Facebook or just on Twitter. You have to reach out to all the networks to get the most marketing for your buck.
How strong is your website content? Does it engage your visitor? If it doesn’t, you may want to go back and revise your it. Engaging your audience is key when you have a business. You can increase engagement by posting a variety of content—videos, pictures, blog posts, quizzes, polls and so forth. Aim for content that informs your visitor or teaches them something. These two types of content provide value to ninety percent of the visitors to your website. Are you struggling for ideas? Read the comments left on your posts or, if your site has a message board, go through there and see what the hot topics are among your visitors.
Furthermore, investigate offline marketing opportunities. Trade shows, for instance, will push your product out to the customer in real time. Marketing on television or radio is another option, while you can also market on a billboard or a vehicle. Have your website, business name and contact information everywhere. You can buy ad space on city busses, put up flyers around town and even spread word of your business by word of mouth. Hand out business cards or freebies. This is going to make you more humanistic to the customer; you’re stepping out from behind your logo and connecting with them on a personal level. If they like what they see, the customer will be drawn to visit your website.
Finally, go to your website as a customer. Ask yourself: Is it user-friendly? Customers can find the blog, but can they find the product page? If your answer is no, fix it. Your customer should be able to easily navigate to your blog, products, FAQ page and whatever else you have up on your site. If they have to search for your message board or “contact us” button—do I have to say it? Your bounce rate (which is the rate which people leave your site) is going to skyrocket. This, of course, is only one concern of a website. There are much more but start with this one. Increasing your SEO means that you’re going to lots more web traffic and more sales to your business. Take the steps to improve it today.