If you run a business that has a physical address and wants to attract customers locally, local SEO is a must. Take the time to tackle these must-do local SEO checklist items in addition to any general SEO you’re already doing.
The good news? There are lots of free resources to help improve your local SEO. Whether you sell ice cream in small-town Massachusetts or sushi in Manhattan, here are five ways to gain more customers through local SEO.
Know what good local SEO looks like
Search for your business niche and location on the major search engines (e.g., “ice cream in Northampton, MA”). Where do you come up in the results? What do you notice about the top listing?
Make sure your business’s name, address and phone number appear across your website
Tell those search engines where they can find you! This is a critical step and one of the most important items on the local SEO checklist. Use your official physical mailing address. Note: Be careful to spell out your business’s name, address and phone number the same way across the web. We cannot stress this point enough.
Claim your business’s local listings on Google, Bing and Yahoo
Follow the instructions carefully, and be sure to upload great photos. Be thorough and use correct grammar. Here’s how to claim your local listings:
Want an easy way to get listed locally? Check out GoDaddy’s Get Found — your business information listed everywhere, all from one place.
Build citations on other websites
Having more citations makes the search engine algorithms view your business’s listing more favorably. What’s a citation? It can be:
- A listing in an online business directory (local or for your business niche)
- A mention on any website or blog (local is probably better), even without a link
Whenever possible, ask to have these citations include your business name, address and phone number.
Here are a few places to start:
You might also:
- Approach any (relevant) local bloggers about reviewing your business
- Send press releases to local news sites (it’s always best to have some actual news to share)
This is a biggie! Online reviews are essential to local SEO. The best way to gain more reviews is to ask your customers. How might you do that?
- Link to review sites from your Facebook page
- Put up signs in your business that feature review-site logos (e.g. Yelp)
- Ask for reviews in your email newsletter
With these five steps on the local SEO checklist, you’ll be well on your way to stronger local search results. If you have any additional tips or anecdotes to share, we’d love to hear them! Or, you can check out even more local SEO tips here.
Also published on Medium.