Local SEO: What Small Business Owners Should Know in 2022


Local SEO: What Small Business Owners Should Know in 2022

When was the last time you googled your own business? Did you like the results that came up? Frustrated that your business isn't showing up on top in your area? Then this month's series on LOCAL SEO for small business owners is just what you need to improve your chances of having someone find your business when they need you the most. 

Hey there, and welcome to the Marketing 101 for Small Business Owners channel, I am your host Philippa Channer and I am a Content Marketing Strategist helping entrepreneurs and small business owners create, implement, and measure their marketing plans & content strategies. I started this channel to help business owners like yourself take control of your marketing and get more effective results. This month I am launching a small series on the value and importance of Local SEO and how small businesses can improve their chances of getting found on Google.

But first, What does Local SEO even mean and how do I do it?

Depending on who you ask, Local SEO can be a tricky subject. The good news is that it's not as difficult to do as you might think. Let me break it down for you and show you how to get started with your strategy.First, let’s start with what Local SEO actually is. The phrase Local SEO refers to a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google. Any business that either has a physical location or that serves a specific geographical area needs to be aware of and understand local SEO. If you perform a search on Google for any important keywords related to your business and a map with 3 listings appears underneath it (also known as a map pack), then local SEO can help you grow your business. If you aren't seeing your business show up, then we need to get to work.

The Importance of Local Search in Your Marketing Strategy

Local search is an essential part of any marketing strategy. It is how customers in your local area can find you, learn about you, work with you and grow your business. It's important to make sure that your website is optimized for local search, as this will increase your chances of showing up in the top results on Google.If your customer base is focused on those in your general area, or within a certain driving distance from where you are located, then you want to ensure your content speaks to this. I mean yes, it is nice to know that people all over the world can access your website and engage with your organization. However, for most small business owners, our focus is on a 25-mile radius from where we live, because it is what we can feasibly manage with the resources we have. So developing a strategy that highlights and focuses on our local audience is key to ensuring our investment gets the best return possible. No need to pay for social media ads to reach people you aren't even able to serve.

Local Search Engine Optimization Tactics Every Small Business Owner Needs to Understand

So let's now talk about some of the tactics we can implement to improve our Local SEO. Again, Local SEO is the process of optimizing our websites to rank higher on search engine result pages for keywords related to the geographical area of the business. However, what we can do isn't limited to just our website. The two most popular search engines, Google and Bing, use local listings in their search results to provide users with relevant information about businesses in their area.These local listings include a map, address, phone number, hours of operation, and reviews from other customers. A local listing will also include an indication that it is “claimed” by a business owner or company.

Tactic number #1 would be to claim your business on Google & Bing

The first step to getting your website ready for local search is to make sure you have a complete business profile on Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business. A complete business profile includes having a physical address, phone number, and accurate hours of operation. These three pieces of information are crucial to ensuring that your website is found in local searches and customers can find you easily. Now I totally understand that many entrepreneurs today, like myself, are operating out of their homes and the idea of listing your personal mailing address, where your children live, may not be something you wish to do. One way around this that I have seen suggested is to list the address of the nearest post office or purchase a PO Box, however, Google is strongly against this and may reject your entry. You can create a list by just indicating your service area which is perfectly fine. You just may find some limitations down the road when it comes to certain features from Google or other applications that are connected with Google Business Profile.

Tactic #2 would be optimizing your web content for geographic

Once you've created a complete Google Business Profile, it's time to start optimizing your website for local search. The first thing you'll want to do is add location keywords and geographic information such as city, state or province, country into the content on your website. When creating pages for your services, be sure to include words like ... Landscaping Service in Silver Spring. Or Qualified Electrical Technician serving the Germantown, MD area. This will increase your chance of being found when someone searches for your product or service, uses the words "Near Me" and you are actually near them.

Affordable Local SEO Strategies That You Can Implement Without Any Expert Help

Finding affordable Local SEO strategies that you can implement without any expert help are important for small business owners with minimal budgets. Thankfully working on Local SEO is one of the most affordable and effective strategies you can use to get more visibility in your local area. The first two tactics I mentioned above are both free and easy to do on your own. Now, of course, deciding to hire an expert will help ensure you are maximizing your profiles and website keywords, but you can do what you can to get started, and then hire someone to come in and make improvements when resources are more accessible. In addition to Bing and Google, there are other listings you can invest time into creating that will help your chances of getting found by your local customers. Some of these include but are not limited to Yelp, TripAdvisor, and FourSquare. It is free to create a basic listing for each of these platforms and to have your business show up in search results. You can also make certain improvements to help increase your ranking on these platforms.

How to Monitor the Digital Marketing Performance of Your Business Without Paying a Dime!

Monitoring your digital marketing performance can be time-consuming and expensive. But there are a few free tools that can help you do it without having to spend any money.Some of these tools are Google Analytics, SEMrush, Google Search Console, and HubSpot. These tools will allow you to track your business’s SEO performance, social media presence, and content marketing strategy. The best part is many of these tools are free and some offer a paid upgrade for even more tracking features. A lot of businesses think that they need to invest in expensive software to monitor their digital marketing performance. But this is not the case! There are plenty of free tools out there that will allow you to do it without spending a dime!

Okay so to wrap up today's introduction to Local SEO, we discussed what Local SEO is, why having a local strategy is important for small business owners. We explored 3 different free options we can all implement today to help improve our chances of getting found online. And we visited different tools to help us monitor the effectiveness of the changes we are making. Next week we are going to take it a step further and discuss some offline and in-person tangible ways we can improve our Local SEO chances and increase our search engine ranking. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast, whether you're watching on Youtube or listening to our podcast. And please do us a favor and share this content with someone you know that could benefit from the marketing tips we share. 

As always, our offer for a free 1 hour marketing consultation is available so if you want some help improving your Local SEO game, let's jump on a call and tackle this together. Until then, have a great week and we will chat with you again next week Wednesday.

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