Well, just imagine this. You’re planning a super bowl party, or girls, an AVON party. You plan for weeks. You get all the cleaning done on the day of your party, put out the pimento sandwiches, make a huge beer run, cook a roast and everything. Well, Not maximizing your local SEO, is like forgetting to invite your friends. It doesn’t matter if you spent your life working on something, of you don’t communicate with people, you’re out of a job. You have to get people to engage with your business and raise awareness of your brand and products or services everywhere you go. Put a lot of time into your business cards. They should be attractive, contain all of your pertinent information, and leave a lasting impression. Some ideas for that are raised writing, coupons on the card or back, 3d images, shaped cards, picture cards, your get the picture. Without search engine optimization you are in a blind spot to potential customers both locally, as well as online.
Local vs. Organic SEO
When people search for a business locally, they put a city name, because otherwise, they will pull up places all over the world that may be named that. If your business is optimized for SEO locally, Google will automatically have you in the drop drown as the searcher is typing, making it way easier to find you, and developing brand strength in your area and on the web; such as, if we were to search SEO in Las Vegas, only local results will come up. Companies with high-ranking local SEO will show up first in the area when a person searches, that is why SEO is the key element to business. Organic SEO is for when a search is not peculiar to an area. Like if you Googled ice cream parlors. You would get a very broad list of millions. If you are planning on getting business from locals in your area, you need to invest in local SEO. Either time, money, or both. A friend of mine owns a Lawn Doctor franchise out of South Carolina. For the first three years, he invested time and all of his profit in advertising. They lived off of his wife’s income. By the end of his third year, his take home after overhead was $100,000 a year. That’s how important the decisions you make for your company are. They make or break you.
Local SEO Rankings
A number of things affect your local SEO ranking. Once you know what they are, you can use them to leverage business in your area. SEO is probably the most important factor in getting more customers because plainly stated; it is you putting your business listed as an option while they are in the midst of looking for services or products you offer.
The top SEO local rankings for 2016 are placed by:
Links – Important for local and organic SEO
Website SEO Ranking – Includes mainly keywords and content length.
Google My Business – Reviews, photos, and owner verified profile.
The higher a business ranks in organic SEO, the higher they will rank locally, but that’s no reason not to go all out. The higher you rank locally and organically affects how impactful your links are, so if you want to rank high in Google, you will need to get your SEO going and the sooner, the better. Without an SEO strategy, your competitors will outrank you and put you at a disadvantage competitively.
Local Search Engines –
Once you get verified on Google My Business, set up and fill out your profiles on as many map and locator services as possible. Some are Yelp, Yahoo, Bing. Foursquare, local pages, and don’t forget to get listed in the book, and I would run an ad or two to boot.
Google My Business-
Use Google My Business as the foundation for your SEO campaign. It’s free, and how you set it up and implement it will affect your rankings. This free service for Google functions sort of an all in one portal; that manages your Google profile as a business. Your Search, Maps, and Google+ profile all communicate with Google My Business. Establish a free account and verify it, they send you a postcard with a code. You will already rank higher than those who didn’t check once you do this. Complete your profile. Fill out your Business name, hours, phone, address, categories, and add any images to help users identify your business from the street, or if you have an establishment for them to come to, pictures from the inside to make it more inviting. Keep in mind this is how you look to the city and everyone else out there when they look at you online.
Part of your rankings will also come from social engagement. How many of your links are being shared, customer reviews, people commenting on your site, etc. Make sure you get in on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and whatever else you can think of to raise brand awareness.
Once your profiles are created and maxed out, start building your followers, I do 200 a day on each as ritual. Then you can start engaging your crowd and personalizing and building respect for your brand’s authority in your niche. Share stories, links, jokes, how you got started, how you can help people things you’re about, hobbies, join groups relative to your niche, and so on. Charities look good on you too. Operation Smile gives you a free fund page to personalize, and then you can serve a charity, and deepen brand awareness by caring.
Always respond to inquiries, comments, and reviews, both positive and negative. Ignoring people is burning bridges, and it can affect you immediately, and later on down the road. Ask for reviews. Don’t ever be afraid to ask someone to visit your site and compliment the work you did for them. Also, you can engage people and build your list by having a contest. Hand make a hemp necklace or give away a pair of concert tickets in your area. That way, they sign up for your newsletter, and you can start making friends if you know how to talk to them.
If you rely on local business, you have to have an active, full-bodied local presence. Your SEO makes a huge difference in how your business is looked at by locals and people that may come across you online. Use Google My Business to get your brand out to searchers in your area. And advertise!