Local SEO for Small Businesses
Get More Local Customers Viewing Your Website
Your new website is worthless if you don’t have people looking at it.
Implement local SEO tactics to have your website be found when people search.
Websites are a big investment and they can make or break a business. When you have new customers on your site, your busines can grow with unprecedented success.
So how do you get more eyeballs on your site?
That’s where Local SEO comes into play. Let’s talk about:
“70% of consumers will visit a store because of the information found online.”
For this discussion, there’s two (2) types of SEO: One is Global and the other is Local. Here are the differences:
This is for company’s that sell a product or service that can be used anywhere in the world. You want people in Virginia and Venice to be able to find you when they search. To accomplish a task of this magnitude, you need to hire a professional SEO company that can help with backlinks, press releases and much, much more.
Because my focus is on small businesses here in the Bitterroot Valley, I don’t work with this type of SEO.
This is for local businesses that serve their local communities and region. Their potential customers and clients will do a search on Google like “plumber near me” or “bakery hamilton mt.” The results are displayed with a local map.
This is the type of SEO that I use to help small businesses in the Bitterroot Valley.
When people do a search for a local service or industry, they type in keywords such as “auto glass near me” or “restaurants in Hamilton mt”. The listings that are displayed are referred to as Google My Business listings.
Google My Business listings are a free service from Google. In fact, most business already have a listing – they just haven’t been claimed by their owners yet. 32% of all businesses haven’t been claimed. Yikes! That means anyone can suggest edits and changes. That’s why Step No. 01 is to claim your business listing.
Step No. 02 is to optimize your listing. Google makes this service free because they want you to have the best search experience possible. The more people that search with Google, the more ads they can show and the more money they earn. Makes sense. That’s also why it makes sense for you to optimize your listing. Because when you optimize your listing and help improve the search experience, you’re helping Google. When you help Google, they move you up in the rankings. Oh … and you look better and out perform your competition when customers are searching.
This doesn’t guarantee that your listings will be number one. If Google told you how to do that, everyone would be No. 01 and noone would be No. 02!
Optimizing Your Listing Includes
Do you need help with your Google My Business listing?
Claim Your ListingGoogle My Business
Initiate Post Card to Verify
Basic Listing Set-Up
Set Up Primary Keywords
Optimize Your ListingGoogle My Business
Complete Your Listing (if applicable)
Review all content for accuracy
Take Up to 15 Professional Photos
Take Up to 5 360° VR Photos
30 Minute Training on Using the App
"46% of all Google searches are local."
Another way to have your business found locally is through the creation of Location Pages. These pages, also known as city landing pages, are a highly focused web page that encompasses all of your business location’s key information for customers and search engines.” (Source)
They make for a good landing page for customers coming to your site, but they’re specifically designed for search engines and to help you rank “organically.” When you do a local search, the first thing you’ll see at the top of Google are ads. It’s how they make their money. Most people tend to skip past them and look at the Map Pack. These are the Google My Business listings mentioned above. But after the Map Pack, you have all your organic search results.
There are a number of reasons that a website will rank higher than another, but a lot of it comes down to keywords. With Location Pages, you take the primary keyword that you have in your Google My Business listing and pair it with the city where you want to rank. So if you own a cleaning service and your primary keyword (provided by Google) is “house cleaning service” and you want people in Hamilton, MT to find you when they search, then you’d create a page on your website that has the keywords “house cleaning service Hamilton mt” throughout the page. You don’t want to stuff it with words, but you want to have about 3% of all your text be these keywords.
It’s also important to have pictures of the city that you’re targeting and label both the name and the alt text with the keywords and location. You’ll also want to have a paragraph that addresses landmarks and other locations that are specific to the city.
You can have multiple Location Pages – one for each location that you’re targeting. Of course, you don’t want to copy the content from one page to another. Google frowns upon that and will penalize your site for doing so. But it’s pretty easy to modify the content so that it’s different and specific to the location.
When you’re done, you can list your service areas in your footer or at the top of your page in a drop-down list of areas that you service. Just remember, the purpose is to help your website be found and then use these as a landing page or gateway to your website.
One more thing … if you have multiple physical locations (more than one brick-and-mortar location) it’s especially important to have a location page for each of your locations.
To see an example of what a location page looks like, you can check out the ones that I made for my business targeting Hamilton and Stevensville. If you’d like to have Location Pages made for your business, click here to fill out the form.
Bonus Tip: Location Videos
While location pages are great for Google, don’t forget about the 2nd most popular search engine: YouTube! Who owns YouTube? Google! That means you can further your reach and amplify your local search results by creating a video that’s specific to your location. For example, I created a video for my primary keywords and location – in this case: Hamilton, MT.
I shot the video in Hamilton, filmed some b-roll footage to go along with it and made sure that my dialogue included my keywords. It’s also critical that you name your video with the keywords and location and include them in the video description on YouTube. One extra step: I added closed captions that also included my keywords. Within minutes of posting my video to YouTube, my video showed up in the search results. Not only is that cool, but the fact that it has my thumbnail there with an image makes it stand out amongst the other search results. Hooray!
Finally, I put a link the video on my location page as well. If you’re interested in having a location video done for your business, reach out to me for a quote.
My location video shows up in the search results with a thumbnail that grabs attention.