local search marketing

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

For small and medium-sized businesses, ranking for local search terms is crucial to boosting sales and brand awareness. Global search engine optimization (SEO) is important, but local SEO will drive nearby customers to your doorstep.

Here are four tips to improve your local SEO efforts.

1. Optimize the Information on Your Business Website

A poorly-optimized website will have difficulty ranking. It’s important to remember that your company’s website is the most valuable online asset that you have. Make sure that it’s properly optimized, so search engines have an easy time ranking your site.

If you’ve yet to create a website for your company, consider buying a domain that reflects your industry and location.

If you already have a website, here are some tips to optimize your pages:

  • Include your NAP (name, address, phone number) information.
  • Make sure that the content on your pages includes information about your local area to further associate your business with the local area.
  • Include the appropriate keywords in your page titles. These keywords should reflect your services, business and location.

Optimizing your website is the first step to improving your local rankings, and it’s one of the most important.

2. Establish a Social Media Presence

Social media is no longer optional for businesses – no matter their size. Whether you run a bakery shop downtown or a Fortune 500 company, people want to find and interact with you on social media.

If you’ve yet to establish a social media presence, it’s time to start. If you already have profiles on social media platforms, it’s time to start being active on them.

The more active and engaging you are on social media, the more followers you will attract. Social signals do play a role in search engine rankings, although no one knows for sure how big of a role.

Create a strategy that engages your customers on a range of social networks, including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat and more.

Social media posts don’t have to be complicated. Update your followers on new products, giveaways and promotions. You can also share relevant stories that your audience may find interesting.

Make sure that you’re also engaging with your followers. Answer their questions and respond to their feedback.

3. Use Local Keywords

Adding the right keywords to your content and page titles can go a long way in improving your rankings. Whenever possible, use local keywords on your website.

Local search terms are easier to rank than broad search terms. Long-tail, localized keywords can also drive highly targeted traffic to your website. A plumber, for example, may use the search term “sewer repair in your Reno home” instead of just “sewer repair” or “sewer repair Reno.”

Localizing your keywords will help your website rank in the search results when nearby customers look for your products or services.

4. Create Business Profiles on Major Platforms

If you haven’t done so already, create profiles for your business on major platforms like the Yellow Pages, Google+ and Yelp.

These sites provide yet another avenue for potential customers to find your business. Not only will these platforms help drive traffic to your website, but they will also help improve local SEO and serve as social proof for your website.