SEO is a vast but integral part of your marketing strategy: if people can’t find out about your business, how can you get sales? Local SEO in particular is important for businesses that need foot traffic or clients in their immediate area. Fair Marketing can help your business get more customers by amping up your local SEO efforts.
Here are some tips to get started so people can find you, then get their interest piqued.
Make Sure You’re Getting Reviews
Online reviews are one of the first places that people will check whether you’re a dental office or a bakery. Whether they’re about to drop thousands on home remodeling services or a few dollars on a burger, 90% of consumers look at online reviews and factor them into their decision before patronizing a business. Review sites are one of the absolute first things that people see in search engine results pages, and if people are talking about your business then you’re going to have a higher local ranking than if your Yelp page has crickets chirping. If people are searching for “sports bars in St. Louis”, the local sports bar that has lots of reviews is going to trounce you on search engine results if reviews are your lacking. To boost your local ranking, you need to facilitate reviews from your customers. Don’t be shy about asking for them whether it’s in your store or office, in follow-up emails to customers, or offering incentives like discounts on future purchases.
Even if you have to sweeten the deal with a discount or rebate, it’s an important investment in your online presence. Give a clickable link to the customer that takes them to exactly where they should leave the review, whether this is right after the purchase or you put this on autopilot a few days after their purchase. If you don’t make the review writing process easy for them, it’s just not going to happen. Find a way to facilitate gathering reviews, because reviews make you rich in ranking!
Upload Photos to Google and Urge Your Customers to Do the Same
Just like online reviews, businesses that have lots of photos associated with them are far more click-worthy than those with just a blank page on display. Photos are an important part of your branding and people want to see what a fresh plate of your restaurant’s artisanal tacos actually looks like. If you’ve got a boutique then potential customers want to know what styles of clothing and jewelry you stock and how your customers like to dress. You’ll want a mix of both professional photos and pictures that your customers snap on the sly. Either way, Google tends to assume that the more photos you have, the more people are talking about your business and sharing their experiences.
Photos also open up more visitors to engage with your Google+ and Google My Business pages which factor into your ranking. In today’s fast-paced world, a simple photo that shows off your exemplary product or service plus happy customers will imprint on a potential customer a lot faster than the text in an ensuing review. A picture’s worth 1,000 words, which is good because many people have short attention spans today so you want to be found and then visited on account of those pictures!
Build Up Backlinks
Link-building is important for both ranking and discoverability. The more people that are linking to your business, the higher your ranking will be. This also includes local business directories which may not increase your ranking by default but provide vital boosts to your visibility and local customers’ likelihood of finding you. Make sure your business information is up to date when you’re creating business listings in all the major directories. Also make sure your Google My Business page has your latest information and that users are engaging with it. This one has a definite impact on your ranking. Backlinks include any place that links to your website, like blog posts, forums, social media, news articles, and other webpages. For instance, you can sponsor a blog or Meetup group with a large following that’s dedicated to your locality to get foot traffic and raise your local search ranking.
Organizations like schools and professional societies are also high-traffic sites that may accept your sponsorship, or content that is relevant to both your business and the organization such as an attorney posting a blog about a city-centric legal issue on a local bar association site. Fair Marketing is happy to take that time-consuming directory entry creation and maintenance off your hands with our upLOCAL Buzz service so you can focus on getting more customers in the door and building up other quality backlinks. If you’re getting dizzy at the thought of building these pages and optimizing the experience for your customers, upLOCAL Authority will put your local SEO efforts on cruise control and provide you with the analytics you need to figure out what’s getting people to your door or not.