Local businesses are taking a hit at the moment, but at no fault of your own. In times like these, it’s best to focus on what you can control and take advantage of the lull to prepare your business for success. A good place to start is your website because that’s always in need of some tender loving care. (See more on why your website is never done).
Local SEO for Small Businesses Tip #1: Know your keywords
Are you familiar with your website’s focus keywords? This is pretty easy to do without doing any real research. Just think about what type of Google searches you want your website to show up for. For a pizza restaurant, it’ll be “Pizza Restaurant in [Your City]” or “Best Pizza in [Your City]. Easy as pie.
As SEO professionals, we will take this research a few steps further and complete tasks like determining your site’s ranking against your competitors and finding the difficulty level and search volumes of each keyword.
If you’re in a pinch, using your best guess at your focus keyword can still help your site in search. Now that you have the keyword, use it! Especially on your homepage as the title or headline of the page.
When we are implementing this same strategy, we will build content off of key phrases, structure entire pages around focus keywords, and go as far as adjusting metadata, URLs, and image files across the entire site. Right now, focus on your money page – your homepage.
Local SEO for Small Businesses Tip #2: Make it easier for your customers to convert
If you’re the local pizza place, you want people to call and order. If you’re the local dentist, you want people to call and make an appointment. What seems like an easy process for you is tedious to the average consumer and will cause them to click off your site and go elsewhere. Make it easier for them to convert, it’s so easy to do!
First, decide your call-to-action. Let’s say it’s “Order Now.” Now make sure that appears (with all of the other important information, like phone number) on the top half of your homepage. You’re going to want users to see it without needing to scroll, so test the placement by looking both at your phone and your desktop.
Next, if you decide to take it a step further, make that call-to-action an actual button. I strongly recommend that you take this step, as this is an age of instant click-to-buy and limited social interaction where people don’t really want to call and chat. That button needs to lead somewhere, which can be a standard contact form if you’re accepting appointment requests or business inquiries, or a third-party app for online ordering if you’re a restaurant.
Local SEO for Small Businesses Tip #3: Be available
You’re probably already utilizing Google’s free local business network, Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not, sign up as soon as possible. This network not only gives you the chance to appear on the top of the search page for your focus keywords ( [Your Business Type] + [Your City]), but it also gives you the valuable Knowledge Panel for a Google search of your business name. This Knowledge Panel links straight to your website, menu, phone number to call, business hours, and any other valuable information that you include in your GMB profile.
Google is the largest network, but you should take the same steps for Bing Places, Yahoo Small Business, and review sites like Yelp. Make sure that you’re filling out these profiles with as much information as possible. The more information you give, the more likely you are to be found in the search results and the more likely consumers will engage with your listing.
We wish you the best of luck during this time and we extend our aid to you. Contact us for a complimentary website audit, where we will highlight areas of improvement to help your website appear in organic search results.