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Locally Grown SEO Just Tastes Better
Posted on April 7th 2014
"The key is to present the right content to the users at the time they need it in an engaging manner, across all channels they visit." - Jim Yu, CEO @ BrightEdge
Raise your hand if you know what SEO is. Keep that hand up if you know how to make great use of SEO in concert with a solid content marketing strategy.
How many hands are still up in the air?
If you're running a small business, then one of your most important assets is a smart SEO strategy. In fact, nearly 60% of B2B businesses say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation, which means customers. Local businesses work within a very competitive space with pretty tight margins so you've got to do all you can to shine brighter than your competitors - while also finding your business' perfect customers.
Copyblogger posted a list of 10 steps local businesses should take to improve their online visibility. I've condensed a few of them, but here are the basics:
1. Research your keywords.
You have to first understand the language your customers use when they're searching for businesses like yours. Tailor those words to your specific business and type away.
2. Optimize your site and content.
Consider this: 78% of people believe organizations creating custom content are interested in building positive and lasting relationships with their consumers. Creating high quality content is the most valuable thing you can do for your business.
3. Get your business listed.
Communicating with your customers and your community gets your business local exposure, which is great for future business. Local Google+ pages can help you do that, so take advantage of the free social interaction. You'll also want to get posted on Bing, Yahoo Local, and other directories. Check out GetListed.org for additional information.
Also, to make sure you're getting the most out of your SEO strategy, be consistent with your listings. Search engines get very cranky when your listings are inconsistent. Don't make the search engines cranky.
4. Ask for genuine reviews.
In a world connected by the Internet, word-of-mouth marketing is important. 90% of customers will use recommendations shared by friends to make decisions about businesses. Your reviews need to be positive - and genuine. Ask your current customers to share their experience and make it easy for them, but never offer incentives for reviews. You want your reviewers to be those who were actually and genuinely impressed with your work; incentives create a false tone, which often stands out.
5. Optimize your social profiles.
Nearly 90% of B2B marketers are using social media to distribute content and 80% of users prefer to connect with businesses via Facebook. Google+ shouldn't be your only social media platform if you're trying to gain greater exposure. Just remember to keep everything consistent across sites.
With a social media presence, you want people talking about you behind your back - trust me! Reach out to your local community through social media sites and Twitter and engage with followers, sponsor or host local events, and participate at local networking events.
6. Go mobile.
The whole world is going mobile and so should you. Local businesses benefit greatly from mobile sites because prospective customers are out and about and looking for you on their devices. If you're not there, then how can they find you?
7. Analyze and monitor your results.
Okay. You're fully optimized for SEO and you're running. But how do you know if it's working? That's where analytics come in handy. Monitor your target keywords, take a look at your online rankings, and analyze your organic traffic to see if it's improving. Google Analytics is a great tool, but there are others available. Find what works best for you.
Raise your hand if you're ready to put an SEO strategy to work...wow, now that's a lot of hands!
Photo Credit: Local SEO/shutterstock