This is Joe.
He’s the quintessential Average Joe – a business owner trying to successfully run his company in his area while keeping a steady workflow.
Here’s what Average Joe wants to do…
- Maintain an authoritative brand in his field in his area
- Attract clients in his neighborhood so that they don’t have to travel too far from job to job
- Keep his business personal and build lasting relationships with his customers
Here’s what Average Joe DOES NOT WANT…
- His business to grow beyond their capabilities
- His business to get corporate and have a place on the stock exchange.
- World domination (not just yet, anyway)
Does this describe your situation?
What a coincidence!
Now, there’s nothing wrong with the second list, but your SEO strategy should reflect your business ambitions.
If you’d like to maintain visibility for your services in a particular area, optimizing your local listing is your sure-fire way to keep yourself on top when people search for services in your hometown.
More people use search engines like Google, Facebook and other third parties to look for local services.
You’d be surprised how many people increasingly type in search terms like “Plumber Houston Heights” or “Barbers in Houston”.
Service+ Location= is one of the most common query formulas in the search world.
So how do you rank better in your specific area?
Here are some tips on how to get noticed by your neighbours through some cutting-edge local SEO.
Local SEO: How to get noticed by your neighbours
Optimize your own website
This may seem like a no-brainer but be sure to have your site optimized for the local user experience before embarking on any ‘external’ SEO.
Because searchers look for people to solve their problems immediately, list your services and put your contact details in highly visible positions—such as a phone number in the header and email, number and address in the footer.
Remember, you must have quality content on your site. That means no unnecessary ‘filler’ pages.
Strike a balance between helpful content for customers (such as blog posts) and engaging content that positions your brand as better than your competition.
Here’s a great example of a website with the essential information readily available for their visitors. It’s also well organized and designed with user intention in mind:
Google My Business
Google My Business is absolutely crucial for today’s local SEO.
Be sure to create a Google My Business account and populate it with information relevant to your business, such as those found on the footer or contact us page of your site.
Other details to include are your opening hours and directions to your address. All these snippets assist your ranking and exhibit your “local-ness” to potential customers.
If your customer base is happy with your work, encourage them to leave a review on your Google business account. Better reviews won’t help your rankings per se, but they do help your business’ reputation, directing traffic to your page and consequently your SEO ( … “It’s the circle of life!”… ).
However, reviews are a double-edged sword.
While one negative review isn’t the ‘be all and end all’ of your life’s work, having average reviews won’t make you stand out amongst other businesses with better ratings.
Reach for the stars (literally) with your reviews by providing extra customer service that leaves a good taste in people’s mouths.
Here’s what our Google My Business looks like. We’ve got our location, contact details, opening hours and some schmick reviews from our customers:
Get listed on business directories: Online citation and backlinks
Business directories have gone the way of the dinosaur.
Instead of looking through one to find a business by your house, now you just type the product or service you need into a search bar and get the listings.
But just because humans have stopped scrolling through directories doesn’t mean the web crawlers have.
Search engines send their crawlers to directories to sort websites into different industries and record where they’re located. Being featured on a directory also gives your site a valuable backlink.
Leverage your local advocates with social proofing
Your customers love your brand.
After all, you send them the content they need to work through their problems and provide them with excellent customer service.
So why not leverage this fanaticism on social media?
Social proofing is the process of getting your biggest advocates to champion your brand on social media platforms, rating you 5 stars and leaving glowing reviews on your profile.
Social proofing creates trust and interest in brands for those who are interested but want more information before making a decision.
Consider platforms like Yelp, Foursquare or Tripadvisor. People use these platforms before locking down plans to make sure they’re going to have the best experience possible.
Decide which platform is relevant to your industry and ask your biggest advocates to review your business on it. Now, when someone searches for businesses within your industry, they’ll trust yours since the social proof says your business is the best in town.
Build up your backlinks
While you’re at it, try to get your website link published on as many credible local (and national) sites as possible.
This is a process called backlink creation.
Backlinks are a vote of confidence from other websites saying you know what you’re talking about.
By getting your website’s link published by other local publications or businesses, you’re increasing your exposure in your area—and the more exposure you get, the more local traffic will enter your website.
And the better your traffic numbers, the higher your site will climb in local SEO.
These are just a couple of things to help you increase your local visibility—though we’ve only given you a brief snippet.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to boost your website traffic and maintain a steady flow of leads. For the rest of the work, find an SEO specialist—like the ones we employ at Impress!ve™—to ensure all your hard work leads to real results.