3 SEO Steps To Rank Your Local Business
You put a ton of time and effort into making your beautiful website. And you’ve added some great articles that demonstrate strong thought leadership in your field. And you’ve even learned a bit about SEO.
So why isn’t your website generating any business?
In this article we’ll outline the 3 things Google needs to see to elevate your local search rankings. All you need to do is:
- Make your solution offering crystal clear
- Tell Google where you are located.
- And demonstrate you are trustworthy
Do these 3 things well and you’ll be ranking at the top for local search in no time.
Help Google Help You
At a local level, ranking well on Google isn’t that hard (in most industries). You are trying to out rank your direct competitors in your geographic vicinity. Which is great because there probably aren’t too many companies doing the exact same thing as you.
So here’s the first thing you need to know. Google is smart; really smart. But no matter how smart Google’s algorithm is, it can’t read between the lines. You have to tell it exactly who you are, and what you do.
Give some thought to how people are searching for your solutions. If you are a local provider then that probably means pairing your solution with your location. For example, someone looking for marketing assistance might search for “marketing agency in Santee.”
Take a good look at your company homepage. Are the search terms people are most likely to use reflected on your page? Remember, your solutions need to be obvious to both a human searcher and an algorithm.
Try adding your solution as the headline of your homepage. In other words, the first few words on your homepage should tell Google exactly what you do.
Check the rest of your homepage content. Can you sprinkle in a few words that relate to your solutions? Don’t go overboard, but make sure your offering is really easy to understand.
Change the Tag Line of your site so your keyword appears in the tab in your browser. If you are using WordPress then go to General Settings → Tag Line and update your browser tab.
Great! Now your human and algorithmic readers know exactly what solutions you provide.
Set Your NAP
Google needs to know where you are located in order to match you with location based queries.
So make things easy for Google by establishing your Name, Address, Phone (NAP).
You’d think those would all be obvious but it’s easy to change minor details and potentially confuse Google. For example, does your company name include ‘Ltd’? Does your phone number include brackets for the area code? How about dashes?
Set your NAP on your contact page. And also in your footer if it’s appropriate. Moving forwards, make sure you only list your company online using those exact details.
Establish Your Location
You’ve already updated your contact page. But let’s go one step further to establish your location.
Find a few (around 5) local directories where you can list your business. Ideally they will be specific to your industry, or to your area. For example, a local chamber of commerce. Add in your company NAP and it will reinforce your location for Google.
Next, create a Google My Business (GMB) listing. It takes a bit of work, but DON’T skip this step. In your listing, add the keywords that best describe your industry (ie marketing, direct mail, email marketing). When you set up your GMB listing you’ll need to verify that you are the business owner. There are several ways to go about doing so. For most users, validating your listing is best done via Google’s free search console tool (which is a great way to understand your website users).
Your GMB listing is essential to getting found online. Done right it tells Google exactly what you do, and where you are located. It also ensures you can be found on Google maps!
Prove You’re Trustworthy
Finally, Google needs to know you are the best search result possible to put you at the top of the page. To do so, it relies on ‘trust signals’.
Trust signals can be explained as ‘people had a good experience’. Or ‘authoritative sources reference your work.’
Ask an outsourced sales assistant to make a list of expert publications in your niche, and do email outreach on your behalf. You can ask the site owners to link to an article on your website. Or you can offer to share your expertise with their readers (ie guest post).
When Google sees that authority sites in your niche are linking to you; some of their authority is automatically conferred upon yourself. These links to your site are considered a powerful ranking signal.
Next, ask all your past clients if they can provide a positive review of your solutions. For the ones that can, direct them to your Google My Business page to give you 5 stars. As you might expect, Google loves recommending businesses that have real people singing their praises.
Google also indexes reviews from 3rd party platforms like Facebook and Yelp. But if you haven’t already started getting reviews on those sites then Google My Business is the best for Google rankings.
It’s Not Hard
So you can see the basics of local SEO aren’t difficult at all. If you follow the tips in this article you’ll have done more than most of your competitors. And Google will almost certainly reward you with better rankings.
Remember, to make Google happy the algorithm needs to understand what you do, and how to find you. The rest is just being authentic and proving your expertise with great customer reviews.
Let’s get started!
Matthew Murray is the director of Sales Higher, a B2B lead generation firm. Sales Higher grinds through the data so you can focus on landing deals.