Visibility is what every business needs, whether you’re a two person startup or an international Fortune 500 entity. It’s no longer a question of driving sales. It’s the very lifeblood of your business.
The problem for many small businesses is driving visibility where it can have the greatest immediate impact—locally.
There’s no question that SEO strategies are critical to any digital marketing initiative. But if you’re a small business, you’re faced with certain dilemmas. How do you compete locally in a marketplace that’s increasingly global? How do you maximize results if your business isn’t yet prepared to expand? And how can you best offer a more personalized focus for your customers?
Believe it or not, local small businesses are still thriving in spite of the seeming domination from big box retailers. More and more consumers indicate they prefer a unique and personalized experience over the homogeneity of a national chain. Even in many B2B segments, you’re more likely to find sales driven by the sort of individualized focus which can only be provided by a local business.
You don’t need the marketing budget of an international corporation in order to maximize your SEO strategy locally. In fact, you may be at an advantage. While larger businesses have to allocate their marketing to national campaigns, you can continue to emphasize the local expertise your customers have come to expect. Here are 4 easy SEO strategies your small business can implement today.
Local SEO Strategy Tip # 1 : Leverage Social Media To Your Advantage
It’s been estimated that 91 percent of small businesses in the U.S. will be using social marketing in 2019, in contrast to only 86 percent just six years prior. By 2020, social media network users are expected to be 2.9 billion. That’s over a third of the global population, with more than half of users indicating they prefer social media access from a mobile device.
It’s not enough to rely on a simple Facebook page to draw traffic anymore. 65 million other small businesses do so. But only 5 million pay for advertising. Don’t be part of the 60 million companies failing to maximize their social media potential. Targeted ads mean targeted business. And your local target is likely far too specialized for big business to reach.
Local SEO Strategy Tip # 2: Target Your Destination By A City Specific Landing Page
If you have multiple locations in a region, it might seem more convenient to have one general landing page. And it makes sense. It’s certainly less time consuming, and frequently more cost effective.
But be honest. When was the last time you entered “southern california”+plumbing into Google as opposed to “san diego”+plumbing?
That’s what we thought. But even if you’re not a multi-city company, you can still create a landing page that will result in a much higher SEO ranking. Simply audit the results of a search for your industry and city (embedding Google maps onto your landing page is never a bad idea). You’ll probably find that there are certain additional keyword strings which you never would have taken into consideration before. Use them shrewdly. Don’t plagiarize. Not only is it simply bad etiquette, but your local competitors have felt just the same squeeze you have when it comes to large enterprise presence.
Local SEO Strategy Tip # 3 : Customers Trust Reviews—Not Necessarily Advertising
According to a recent survey, out of 86 percent of small business consumers, in regards to local businesses, 73 percent indicated they trusted positive reviews from other customers and 68 percent reported leaving a review when asked. And there’s a good reason for those numbers.
The online landscape is by default a user driven landscape. And due to its predominance, consumers have long learned to be cynical towards advertising campaigns. For small businesses, local customers are simply more apt to trust the advice of a neighbor or co-worker than a highly stylized marketing campaign. If your focus is strictly regional, word of mouth from visitors is going to draw substantially more traffic than bombarding your customer base with mass emails.
Local SEO Strategy Tip # 4 : Images Speak Louder Than Words
It’s no secret that humans are hardwired to focus more on visual presentation than anything else. In fact, it’s been estimated that image-rich content is 94 percent more likely to draw repeat traffic than content without graphics. And if you’re assuming SEO is strictly dependent on keywords alone, you may want to think again.
While search engines don’t rank on images, you can still ensure yours are optimized to appear during queries. You can use locally specific keywords and alt tags for each picture to help compete in rankings. Even if you’re paying to use a generic stock photo, you can simply replace the title (typically something along the lines of “12317456.jpg”) with a keyword string more relevant to both your customer base as well as your immediate community. If this seems almost too simple to work, try running a Google Image search and see the results for yourself. You may wind up kicking yourself for not having thought of it earlier.
Need more local SEO tips for your small business? At No Joke Marketing, we’re as serious about small business as we are digital marketing. Our campaigns don’t just drive local sales—they innovate them. Find out more at nojokemarketing.com