Even though you are focusing on the local market, you should have an online presence. Today, customers are finding products and services by checking local search engine results. So, if your business is not ranked high in these results, your business will suffer.
Here are some tips to boost your local SEO that will help you leave your competition behind and get more customers.
Optimize Your Website and Content
It is important to have high quality content, not just for search engines, but also for your website visitors. Keyword stuffing is no longer a good way to achieve high search engine ranking; plus your website visitors will not appreciate it. Begin by researching the right keywords. You want keywords that are relevant to your business, but do not have extreme competition. Look for keywords with medium competition. In other words, try and incorporate head terms and corresponding long tail keywords naturally into your content. If you have done research on your customer base, you should not have a problem identifying keywords that they tend to use when looking for a business similar to yours.
Make it a point to include the keyword and key-phrases in the meta title and meta tag description. This also holds true for any image you have added onto your site.
Since you are targeting local customers, your Contact Us page is one of the most important webpages. Mention the name of your business, the address, primary phone number and go sitemap to let local search engines access your website more easily.
Get Listed on Google Places and Local Google+ Pages
Google Places display information on Google search and Google Maps, so that your business can be found more easily by prospective customers. As a result, your customers get access to vital information, such as the address of your business, opening hours and contact details.
Local Google+ facilitates communication between you and your customers and helps your business get more exposure and credibility. When you respond to customer reviews and upload updates to your customers, it opens a two-way communication channel, thereby personalizing the contact you have with your customers.
Get Local Citations
Local citations are extremely important for local search engine rankings. You can opt for structured citations by going in for listing sites, such as yelp.com, yellowpages.com and superpages.com; or unstructured situations, such as blogs, event listing websites, newspaper sites and job sites. Both types of citations are crucial for local search rankings.
Request Customers for Real Reviews
When you do business with a customer, ask them politely to leave a review on your Local Google + page, Yelp page, Facebook page or Superpages page. Make sure you are given multiple options to your customers, but get just one review, so that they are not tempted to copy and paste the review across multiple sites. Remember, the key is to get genuine reviews, be it positive or negative. Make sure you take time to respond to the review and this will boost your credibility.
Off Page SEO
You also need to focus on optimizing your business beyond the website. This will help to maximize the performance of your website in local search engines for targeted keywords. Link building is the way forward. You can do off page SEO by creating interactive and interesting social media profiles, blogging as a guest blogger on credible and authority sites, forum posting and directory listing.
When you are trying to get back links, make sure they are from authority sites, as this will help boost your credibility as well as local search engine rankings.