The 3 Pillars of Off-Site Local SEO
Once upon a time, if you wanted to find a local business, your first stop would be the yellow pages – and for brands looking to boost local visibility, a yellow pages ad was a crucial buy. For the vast majority of consumers today, however, it’s web search that has become the starting point for looking into local businesses, products, and services. So, if you’re trying to reach local customers nowadays, a strong local SEO strategy is a must.
You probably know the basics of SEO – your website should be fast and mobile-friendly, with plenty of relevant, smartly chosen keywords deployed strategically throughout, but there’s more to local SEO than merely optimizing your website.
Let’s go beyond on-site SEO, to look at a few other factors that can impact your brand’s local visibility on the web:
Google My Business
A free tool offered by the world’s biggest search engine that allows businesses to easily create a detailed, accessible online profile complete with photos, video clips, a Q&A section and more – why wouldn’t you take advantage of Google My Business? Setting up your Google My Business profile is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to boost local SEO. But surprisingly, a 2016 survey found that 56% of local retailers still hadn’t claimed and optimized their own listing. If you’re among them, make this your first step towards bolstering your local SEO strategy.
Often referred to in industry jargon as “NAP” (Name, Address, and Phone Number), citations are online mentions of your business, and they’re found all over the web, from social networks and local business directories, to review sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. For SEO purposes, it’s critical that all NAP citations for your business are accurate and consistent. With online tools, an SEO pro can perform a citation audit to uncover and correct any inaccurate or incomplete citations – and, can also help you build more citations, to make your local SEO game that much stronger.
The social web is built on conversation, and today, the web is replete with opportunities for customers to give feedback on your business. Savvy business owners know that navigating this marketplace of opinion is key to success, but what many don’t realize is that online reviews can boost SEO efforts, too. Indeed, online reviews containing keywords are a leading factor in local search ranking. And don’t be afraid to respond to reviews – Google has hinted that engaging directly with customers on review sites can also benefit SEO. Just be sure to follow best practices for online customer service.
So, if you want to make the most of local search, remember – a great website is just the beginning. With a well-rounded strategy built to leverage the power of the social web, you can reach more local customers and position your brand for enduring success.
Could your brand’s local SEO strategy use some work? Rosie’s Creative can help. Contact us today – and remember, with us, your first consultation is always free.