SEO is the secret to success for many small businesses. Some businesses are dominating and capitalizing on the industry, while others haven’t a clue what it’s all about. According to BrightLocal, 86% of customers rely on local SEO to find businesses near them. Furthermore, 72% of customers claim that searching is their first choice to find information on local businesses.
Therefore, if you want to succeed as a small business, one of the best ways is to rank well on search engines. Many small businesses have a limited budget, so SEO (search engine optimization) can be a huge game-changer for them.
Many people become confused due to the expertise required to become an SEO expert. However, the good news is that useful SEO tricks can help you up your game.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about common local SEO tips for small businesses.
Optimize your website
Your website represents your business. So, make sure that it is optimized to appear in search results. For example, you can add keywords in the webpage titles.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
According to Hubspot, Google has an 85.8% market share on search. Of this percentage, 94.5% is on mobile! So, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you could be missing out on a major portion of your potential audience.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that will give you a lot of insight into your website’s performance in Google search. It will help you find keywords and find out if there are any issues with the website’s performance.
Google Analytics is a free tool that will help you understand your customers’ behaviour, traffic sources and a lot more.
Google My Business (GMB)
This is an interesting tool Google released many years ago as part of a substantial shift in its search engine functionality. Google My Business allows you to create local business listings, obtain reviews by customers (and respond to them), provide important information about your business, its service listing, hours of operation, contact details, and so much more. Google My Business is a vital tool for improving local search rankings and should be optimized for accuracy, quality, and be kept active and up-to-date.
Similar to Google My Business, local citations contribute significantly to your website’s local SEO rank. Local citations are additional sites and resources, like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Apple Maps to name a few, that add credibility and accurate backlinks to reinforce your business local and service offering. If you’re considering local citations to kickstart your local SEO (and you definitely should be), I highly recommend checking out BrightLocal. It’s a paid service but it ensures consistency across the highest authority citations, all done for you. It can even edit existing citations to improve accuracy (everything should have the exact same information as your Google My Business listing).
Know your audience
Who is your website for? The audience! So, make sure that you know your audience. This way, you will be able to design your content according to their requirements and interests.
Keep an eye on your competitors
Make sure that you keep an eye on your competitors who rank high on search engines. Studying how your competition is using some of the SEO tricks in this article will give you a good recipe to repeat successfully.
Your website’s landing page is the first thing that visitors will see when they open your site. A good landing page with the right SEO keywords can give a good impression about your small business and help you rank for local SEO.
Create quality content
Make sure that your website has relevant blogs, insights, and other information. Blogs will not only help you rank high on SEO, but they also help to build an audience and to keep your website up to date (Google loves this, btw).
Keep your website updated
Another of my local SEO tricks is to make sure that you post regular updates on your website (see, told you). Creating fresh content will help you rank higher on local SEO.
Write engaging content
Even if your content is SEO-optimized and ranks well on search engines, it will lose its position very quickly if users don’t like it. It’s not openly publicized by Google, but many prominent SEO industry-experts will tell you that clickthrough rate is an SEO factor. So, make sure that your content is well-written, fresh, engaging and factual.
Defined as the number of times a searchable keyword appears on a web page, keyword density is a critical aspect of on-page SEO. But it’s important to make sure that you don’t overdo it. A good keyword density is 1%. If you’re a WordPress user, a few great tools to monitor your keyword density include RankMath (my personal preference), All-in-One SEO Pack, and Yoast SEO.
Monitoring keyword density isn’t the only factor to consider. Keyword placement is also very important for on-page SEO. You should have a keyword in the title, heading, subheading, introduction, and conclusion. Also, make sure that the keyword flows naturally in the rest of the text as well – stuffing keywords is very frowned upon by Google.
One of the most common SEO tricks that help to build an audience is to create links between webpages on your website <– See what I did there.
You can use your website analytics to find what people search for. This will help you understand what your audience wants to know about, allowing you to target those terms, provide more value to your audience, and rank easily on SEO.
The final of my local SEO tricks is to be patient. All of the above SEO tricks are tried and tested. However, don’t expect your website to be the first one on the search engine right away. It will take some time. SEO is, without a doubt, a long-term game that reaps significant benefits. Be patient, research, learn, and stay consistent with your local SEO efforts.
If these local SEO tricks seem far too daunting I’m happy to help rank your site higher. Start a project request here, and select SEO.