For many small businesses, SEO or Search Engine Optimization can be daunting particularly for non-technical business owners. At Sarabi Digital, we want small business owners to succeed and be up-to-speed with digital marketing. If you’re a small business owner and want your site to rank on searches in Google, Bing, Apple Maps and other local search engines, then you came to the right place! A good way to start is with a solid local SEO strategy.
- Claim Your Google My Business (GMB) listing. This is probably the best first step if you’re running a local business. About 46% of searches done in Google have local intent. Google has written a straightforward guide on how to do this in this link. If you need help with your GMB listing, you can always reach out to us and we are happy to give you all the guidance you need. Now, let’s explore local SEO strategies in much greater detail!
- Optimize Google My Business. You will want to be on Google’s good side to make this happen. How can you get into Google’s side? Easy! Create and verify your GMB page: Add amazing and clear pictures, write authentic descriptions, use Google Posts on the account, entice your customers to write you a feedback and more importantly, always respond in the most genuine manner to every review, feedback or criticism you get.
- Work on your website! When was the last time you’ve been on a site and immediately logged out because the experience was terrible? This probably happened to you a lot too! When users get to your site, make sure you have a journey planned out for them and make it easy for your visitors to navigate your pages. Here are some tips:
- Fix your website’s navigation. Internal linking helps your SEO ranking by making it easy for your users to navigate through your content and pages. Fixing this also assists in the overall architecture of information and hierarchy of content in your website. Lastly, this SEO strategy helps distribute page authority and ranking among all your pages.
- Optimize your content, URL and meta content. Every new post becomes a new page that search engines will index to help you show up in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Do your keyword research and make sure that high search volume keywords are embedded within your content, URLs and meta data such as titles, descriptions and headers. There are a lot of keyword tools out there such as Google Keyword tool and SEMRush to name a few. If you need guidance, Sarabi Digital has extensive experience in keyword research and we are more than happy to help you improve your content
- Put location pages and maps on your site. If you have a brick and mortar store, you gain a lot of brownie points if you are able to embed Google maps location of your store within your About Us page/s. If you have more than one location, you can consider having a locations page that will list down all your stores. Remember, to rank higher, you need to help people find you easily and what better way to do that than to put a map on your pages!
- Build content that is relevant to your local community. As Google signals get a lot smarter, your content has to evolve from being general to something very specific to your community. Come up with a content strategy that highlights your expertise within your city. You can even include local maps and a calendar of events within your community that you’re part of. You’ll not only be seen as the local expert, you’ll also get points in search engines’ local signals.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly. In a highly connected world, people will most likely find you on their mobile phones most of the time. How many times have you left a website because the content is so hard to read on your phone? Don’t let your future customers experience that! There are a lot of free tools such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test that will help you assess your current website. If you need help interpreting results, feel free to reach out to Sarabi Digital. Mobile Friendliness is part of our digital audit that will help you improve your overall digital presence.
- Engage with directories. You want to be found, right? For potential visitors to find you, you need to make it VERY easy for them. The key is to optimize for NAP – Name, Address and Phone number.
- This should be within your website and don’t make that mistake of using an image to highlight it. Make sure it is in a readable text format which includes your area code. Why? Because Google crawls your website for this information.
- Engage in directories that are popular in your area. Find popular map aggregators that will help feed information to Google, Bing, Apple, Yelp, Tripadvisor and more!
- Consistency is key. Any typographical error or missing number/s can be problematic for you and may cause your listing to not show up. Make sure that all of the information is correct
- Gain authority and relevance. Get out there and promote yourself particularly in your area. You can have an exponential impact when people start linking back to your website. Here are some ways on how you can do this correctly and probably at minimal to no cost at all! Key here is to not be afraid of reaching out to the right people who you can help and can also help you back.
- Engage in sponsorships and partnerships within your local community. Run campaigns and partner with local groups. Start reaching out to your own network and see if they have events coming up that you can help with. This way, you can get your brand out there and if they have an events page, you can ask that they link to your website too.
- Be a guest writer or blogger. If you like writing, share your expertise by being a blogger or writer for a popular website. This way, you’re able to advertise yourself to their readers and you can request for a link back to your website in exchange for the article you wrote.
Engage your community and local groups through social media. Now that you have an optimized Google My Business page and a sleek and shiny website, share it on social media! Join local groups and organizations and share your content. Make sure that you respond and engage the community well and you’ll soon see your customers knocking on your doors or buying online!