17 of the BEST local SEO company tips for your business!
Everyone wants their business to come up high in the Google ranks when searched. Here are 17 of the best local SEO company tips that we’ve put together to help you get started.
In Vermont, local SEO is extremely important
Ready? Excited? Then let’s get started…
1. Understand what “local SEO” really is
Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like! Local SEO (search engine optimization) is a process for getting you noticed immediately when someone in your geographical area searches for a company like yours.
For instance, if I search for “real estate attorneys” while I am home in Vermont, the first page of Google brings up a list of attorneys in my area. Take a look below:
Makes sense right? If you’re a real estate attorney in Vermont, you can definitely see the power of local SEO if you’re at the top of the list. But if you’re searching from another location such as Montreal or Dallas, TX. you will get entirely different results. This is all based on a number of geo-targeting methods used by Google.
2. Optimize your website with the proper keywords and descriptions
Before you do anything else, make sure that your website is properly built and easy for Google to spider through and rank. Here are the essentials:
- Well organized pages and posts
- High quality content with images and videos inserted into the page text
- Make sure that all of your images have alt tags that contain your keywords
- Do NOT over stuff your page with keywords. Google wised up to that long ago. So don’t do it!
- Research the best keywords for your page topics and descriptions. If you don’t know how to do that or do not have the tools, well, this is where to find me!
3. You do not have to drive yourself crazy worrying about SEO and content
The best thing about local SEO for your company is that it’s easier than regular SEO because you are competing with a much smaller audience. Ever heard the saying about “being a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond”? This is pretty much the web equivalent of that.
Start within your smaller, local circle of influence by positioning your company with local SEO first.
Once you have mastered local SEO and covered all your bases, you can move on to broader SEO techniques.
4. Start with “Google My Business”
It’s as simple as doing a search for your own business first. When I am searching for the best local SEO company, I know that would be (shameless plug intended) “Alpine Web Media” so that is exactly what I search for in Google, and here are the results.
Pretty isn’t it? Now, this is exactly what you should see when you search for your company! However, as a caveat I recently did a search for one of my clients, Burlington Self Storage and their business did not show up like mine did above.
Ok, so what gives??? Note the search term. The name of the company exactly matches a common search term and that is why the panel display is very similar to “real estate attorneys” that I searched for earlier. Too generic. Look what happens when I search for “Burlington self storage Shelburne road”. The desired results.
As you can see above, Google can now zero in specifically on a company for local SEO results, because the business name is more clearly defined beyond the generic search.
5. Claim your best local SEO company listing
This is really easy to do and is free! It’s like getting a huge ad free from Google so take advantage of it. It’s really incredible how many people choose not to claim their business on Google. Get a Gmail address if you don’t already have one and claim your Google business right now. Seriously. Do it!
6. Optimize your photos and show your best
Before uploading images to your Google Business page, make sure that they are the best photos, logos, etc. you have to represent your company. Think about the person who you are trying to attract to your business and provide images that will entice them to click through to your website or pick up the phone and give you a call.
7. Reviews make a HUGE difference for local SEO
One thing that really makes a difference are Google reviews. Studies show that Google business results that have a number of positive reviews get more clicks than those that do not have any reviews…
Even if the listings without reviews are on top of the results! If your business has stars, more than likely you will get clicked first.
Which of the above lodging locations would you click on first, if you were planning a stay in Newport, VT?
8. Strive for quality reviews. Ask your customers and friends to post reviews on your behalf
Obviously, the quantity of good reviews you have will establish credibility and authority for your business. Even if you get a couple bad reviews, take the time to add a reply. Nobody can offer perfection to everyone so do your best and respond with a courteous reply to both good and bad reviews.
9. Local SEO Citations won’t land you a speeding ticket
Local SEO citations will help traffic STOP and click to your website (which is a whole lot more fun than a traffic citation). In local SEO terms a “citation” is a mention on any one of a number of local websites that collect reviews or informational listings about your business.
A citation consists of your business name, address and phone number (NAP).
The more citations you have on authority websites such as Google Maps, Yelp, TripAdvisor, SuperPages, FourSquare, Angie’s List, UrbanSpoon, etc. with your NAP, the better your local SEO standing will be.
Although most of these websites provide “no follow” links the links are incredibly useful for branding, authority and of course immediate click through actions.
Bottom line is that if your name is not on the roster, you won’t be selected to play, so it should be your goal to get listed on as many authority websites as possible. Check out MOZ.com for the best local citations by category.
10. Brand your business on social media platforms
Let’s face it, if you’re in business then having a Facebook business page is a must. It’s searchable and it’s free. Also be sure to sign up for other social media platforms such as Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and perhaps Flickr, etc.
Make sure to add links to your website within ALL of these social media tools and be sure to create and add good quality graphics and logos.
YouTube is owned by Google and videos are searchable in Google rankings. If you’re not using YouTube, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity!
11. Use a service to find and help you find and apply for local citations
Whitespark offers a service to help you find local citations *. This is also a useful service to see what citations your competitors are using so that you can apply as well.
12. Don’t pay for placement on citation websites..unless you want to
Some of the websites you apply to will want to charge a fee. Others will offer free placement but try to get you to sign up for enhancements. In most cases, you do NOT have to pay to be listed but you may receive a phone call prodding you towards digging out your credit card.
Always state that you want to try the free listing option and that YOU will call them should you decide to upgrade in the future.
Some of these companies can be quite aggressive in trying to up sell but in most cases, a simple NAP is sufficient.
13. Get alerted if or when NAP listings are changed
Set up Google Alerts which is a free service to get notified about any changes to you or your competitor’s NAP listings. If you do not know how to create a Google Alert try the following:
- Visit Google Alerts.
- In the “Create an alert about” box, enter the words you want to get email notifications for.
- Click Show options to say how often you get alerts, what types of results you want to get, and more.
- Click Create Alert.
14. Remove duplicate citation listings
Make sure that you only have one listing on a citation website, unless you have multiple or branch locations. If you have duplicate, incorrect or inconsistent listings it can harm your local SEO rankings in Google. Moz.com has a great article that explains more about the impact of incorrect and duplicate local SEO listings.
15. Share links with other local businesses
In regular SEO, Google is looking for high quality, relevant links between websites. These kind of links can be tough to find. Educational and government website links tend to have the highest site ranking factors.
Small businesses may have a much lower page rank but for the best local SEO company results it’s a “one hand washes another” benefit. For instance someone searching for gardening may land on a local green house website but if you run a hardware store where the gardener might need to buy some tools, your link would be mutually beneficial.
16. You don’t have to do everything at once
If you’re going to create your own local company SEO campaign do not feel pressured to everything in one session. It will take time to see results and you should split up your time into sessions for submitting your NAP to more websites, periodically.
Enjoy the work that needs to be done and stop when it becomes a chore.
There is always a danger that when you do too much of anything, you get bored with it and walk away. Take a break from your local SEO project if you’re getting discouraged or simply hire it out to someone who can do it for you.
17. Keep track of your local SEO efforts and build upon your success
After all the hard work you put into building the best local SEO campaign for your company, wouldn’t it make sense to document your efforts?
Keep a spreadsheet handy with all of your citation sources, dates you applied, when the citations appeared and fields for company NAP.
If you’re getting ready to start submitting your website to local SEO resources check out the following. Some of the bigger names are being replaced by others, so make sure you jump on the most popular bandwagons first.
Number of times these sites appeared in the
Best 10 Citations by Category in the US
Obviously the list below would be the
better first choices to submit to
Up and coming citation sites you should probably get listed on:
- This link is an affiliate link. If you choose to order the service, I can use the funds to feed the birds next Winter. Thanks!