We all hear about SEO and how businesses needs it. What about local SEO, though?
This shouldn’t be news, nor should it shock any of you at this point. What we often overlook or ignore is that while national and even international SEO is a must for a lot of companies, local SEO is just as vitally important for local businesses. Depending on the competitiveness, it can be what makes or breaks a local business.
Local SEO: Your Domain
So we decided to go ahead and give you some tips on how you can crush local SEO. Whether you’re the Mom or Pop shop trying to do it on your own (which, we really suggest you try to avoid because there are things you can do to HURT your rankings as well), or you’re SEO aware and looking to try local SEO, if you master these things, you can crush your competition.
1 – Citations and Directories? Do Them
Even in 2018, they still matter for local SEO. The reason this is still so important is that it gives people looking for a specific service or product many places to find your businesses. Not only that, but having your businesses NAP (name, address, phone number) all over the web is never a bad thing.
Tip: Start with Google My Business (GMB) and make sure absolutely every name and address for the business matches the GMB listing perfectly. That means no spelling errors, no wrong numbers, nothing. Perfection is a must.
Some of the top citations and directories to use are below:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Express Update
- Local EZE
- Yellow Pages
2 – Pay Attention to Online Reviews
As much as we all hate to admit it, online reputation and online reviews matter – and matter big time. The majority of us, as consumers, will go to a company site or a direct listing and look at their reviews.
Even if there’s 75 good reviews, one bad review can (and often does) outrank the good ones. While we don’t need to go into the psychology of this phenomenon we do want to be completely aware of it. You should, too.
So, how do you try to combat the one or two negative reviews, or should you even try?
Yes, you should absolutely try and yes it’s absolutely possible to save face. We recommend the following replies to negative reviews:
The “Honesty is the Best Policy” Reply
With this reply, you know what the negative review was about. and you know it’s true. You are also, frankly, embarrassed. So in this case, we say: own it. Admit imperfection, because people appreciate the transparency. Say you are sorry and show it: offer to make it up to them with something free, a refund, or whatever would work. Sometimes honesty truly is the best policy, and we can’t all be 100% perfect all the time.
The “Impossible to Please” Reply
Every business has one: the “impossible to please” client that just won’t go away if they’re so dissatisfied, right? This is where you pretty much call their BS out right in front of all the other reviews, and you do it boldly. Don’t be unprofessional, name call, or act immaturely, but DO point out facts surrounding what you know to be ridiculousness. Besides, you know it’s going to feel good.
The “Humor Always Wins” Reply
Everybody loves a good laugh. Also, it’s been scientifically shown that if you can get a reader to laugh while thinking of your brand or involved with it at the time they laugh, they are more likely to remember you (and not your competitor).
So, when you get those internet trolls that just like to make your life a living nightmare, use humor. Respond with something witty and awesome. Use trending topics and reference the ‘80s or ‘90s. Make people feel nostalgic and giddy while you respond to those pesky trolls. You’ll come out on top.
3 – Use Your Blog
Wait, what’s that? You don’t have a blog?
Well, it’s high time to start one. Hire the high school nerd down the road to teach you how to get one up on your site, and start writing.
And yes, we can hear the collective moans and groans now.
“I’m a plumber not a writer… ugh.”
“Nobody will read my silly little blog about carpet cleaning, geesh.”
We know. We’ve heard them all.
Here’s the thing though– while people may not actually read a blog about plumbing or carpet cleaning, Google does. One thing a lot of people forget is that Google doesn’t have eyes. It works with algorithms, that’s numbers and words. That’s it. So the more words you have on your blog, the better chances Google will pick it up and bring in new traffic.
Here are some first-timer blog tips to get you started:
Write no less than 1000 words
Every blog needs to have a good amount of content for Google to like. So pick a topic you can expand on, and get busy!
Educate Your People
Using your blog to educate your clients or customers on how to use your service or product is a sure way to get them to also become buyers, and also a proven way to establish yourself as an expert.
Use a List Form
So we people just can’t stay focused to save our life. That’s why everyone and their brother title blogs like this, “10 Best Ways to Fall Asleep at Work without Anyone Noticing.”
Having a number there means there’s an end, there are headings and we can just zip through it and not read everything. And it’s organized! People will read that. People like lists.
4 – Optimize Everything
For our final local SEO tip, we’re going to tell you to optimize absolutely everything.
So, what is optimization? For local SEO, this is making sure everything from keywords, tags, content, blog titles, URL structures, and anything else has the region you’re in and the main service or product you offer.
This is necessary because it helps Google index your page properly, and that’s always a good thing!
Getting SEO Help
While this list isn’t exhaustive, and certainly doesn’t cover all things SEO, it’s a great first start for mastering local SEO. Don’t forget to follow our blog for more tips and tricks. Even more importantly, talk to us today if you need help getting started with your local SEO endeavors. We’re here for you!