When It Comes To SEO Don’t Neglect The Local Game
Attracting new customers online is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes. While customer retention is an undoubtedly essential part of good business, all businesses must keep a steady stream of new business coming in as well as trying to engender loyalty in their existing customer base. This is especially important in an age where customers are getting more and more fickle despite brands both large and small spending a fortune on building their loyalty. While we may assume that the secret to SEO lies in casting the net as far and wide as we can, this should not come at the expense of the local scene. Businesses that draw heavily from custom in their immediate vicinity, especially those who have a physical presence cannot afford to neglect their local SEO game.
Here are some methods you can incorporate into your SEO strategy to make yourself more visible in local searches…
Take a NAP
Believe it or not, one of the simplest aspects of local SEO is also one of the most effective. It’s merely a case of ensuring that your company Name, Address and Phone Number are accurate, up-to-date and clearly visible in your online presence as well as any other online locations where your company information may be displayed. It’s also a good idea to use a schema markup on your NAP data so that search engines can better understand it.
Create a Google My Business listing
You’ve likely noticed that if you want to find a Chinese ttakeawayor a boutique clothing store in your area, a quick Google search reveals a helpful mini directory listing for several candidates giving you immediate access to contact details and a map detailing their location. There will likely also be a star rating provided by local patrons and a few genuine customer testimonials. Everything you need to make a decision about whether the business deserves your patronage. How many times have you made a decision based on these? Exactly! That’s why your business needs one. Still need convincing? It also makes you visible when users use another Google function like maps.
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Build high authority local links
You may have heard that link building is an important facet of SEO. You likely understand the value of both internal and external links. However, it’s worth remembering that not all links are created equal. Domains that receive a huge influx of traffic are considered high authority sources. As such, backlinks from these sources to your content or homepage are of intrinsically high value. As you might expect, backlinks from high authority local sources are of even higher value when it comes to improving your local game. Backlinks from popular restaurants, local bodies or local publications are great for building your local visibility.
Submit your listings to as many local directories as possible
Finally, ensuring that your business is listed on as many local directories as possible is advantageous on two fronts. Firstly, it makes you visible to local customers who will look to a local directory service before they’ll use a search engine. These are the people who are accustomed to looking in the paper directory to find local businesses and trust more in local directories than in national search engines. Secondly, since directories are trusted authorities with high domain authorities (a directory’s DA should be over 30 for you to consider submitting your listing to it). They tend to have impressive hit rates and thus provide valuable backlinks that will organically boost your SEO.
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