Small businesses are constantly coming up with innovative ways to expand their online visibility, promote their offerings, and sell more products or services. Needless to say, the past two years haven’t been easy for most small businesses. The good news is that the economy is recovering and there’s a wave of support for consumers to shop local. That’s where local SEO comes into play.
So what is local SEO? Local SEO refers to improving a website’s search ranking specifically for local searches, such as “Richmond sushi” or “coffee Vancouver”. Local SEO is particularly imperative for small businesses that serve the local market. To gain more online visibility and sales in their local communities, here are five ways small businesses increase their local SEO for a more prominent and profitable digital presence.
1. Perform detailed keyword research for the local market
The first step of a successful SEO campaign is performing comprehensive keyword research. This means finding a list of keywords that your customers use to find your products or services. In the case of local SEO, you’ll want to find a list of specific keywords that local customers use to find your products or services.
For example, if you’re a Richmond florist that primarily serves Richmond residents, you’ll want to perform keyword research specifically for the Richmond community. If you are a Richmond-based plumbing company that services Richmond, South Vancouver, White Rock, and Delta, you’ll want to gather a list of keywords that your audience uses to search for your service specifically in those four areas.
2. Include the city name in the title tags
Include the city or cities that you serve in your title tag. For example, if you’re a Richmond Audi dealership and you serve the Richmond and the South Vancouver community, you can include Richmond and Greater Vancouver in the title tags. If you’re more focused in Richmond, you can have just Richmond in the title tag. You can also create a landing page for a specific city.
For example, Milani, a plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company in Greater Vancouver, has created a location page for each city that the company serves. The company has created a location page for Richmond, the title for which reads “Richmond BC Plumbing, Drainage, Heating & Air Conditioning”. The company has also created a separate location page for White Rock, the title for which reads “Plumbing and HVAC in White Rock”. Creating city-specific location pages helps the HVAC company rank for location-based search queries.
3. Earn backlinks
The number of quality backlinks a website has remains a crucial factor in a website’s search ranking. Google uses the number of quality backlinks to determine a website’s trustworthiness and authority, two key components of SEO.
To earn backlinks, you can try media outreach or guest blogging. For example, you can organize a unique event and invite local journalists or magazine writers to attend. The journalists can cover the event in news or magazine articles and include links to your website. Or you can write the articles yourself and pitch it to magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Every quality backlink will help to boost your search ranking.
4. Engage in citation building
A citation is an online mention of your business’s name, physical address, and phone number. These three essential components are often referenced as N.A.P.
Citations help Internet users discover local businesses. They can also impact local search engine rankings. Having the right basic citations can help you rank accurately on Google Maps. When you get a citation, your company’s address is linked which helps Google understand where your business is located. This information helps Google accurately display your website for local-based searches based on your office address.
5. Optimize website pagespeed
Website pagespeed is critical to a website’s search ranking because pagespeed affects a website’s user-experience (UX). Google takes UX under consideration when ranking a website.
To improve your website’s pagespeed, there are a few simple things you can do. The tips are:
- Compress your image files to under 100KB. The smaller your image files, the “lighter” the images are for the browser to load, decreasing your page’s load time.
- Compress HTML and CSS files. Reducing the HTML and CSS file sizes also make your website lighter for the browser to load, optimizing its pagespeed.
- Reduce the amount of animation on your website. Minimize website animation as much as you can. Website animations take longer for a browser to load, extending a website’s pagespeed.
A strategic and effective local SEO campaign can do a lot for your company’s overall marketing and business success. Investing in local SEO strategies can help company improve its search ranking and online visibility, ultimately attracting more website traffic and potential clients.
Here to Help
No matter what stage of your business journey you’re at, Small Business BC has the resources you need to succeed. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our selection of business articles.