Being a local small business has some benefits. Often the local small business is restricted in its location and size to compete with global competitors for top spots on product based search results. However, search engines have quickly adjusted for local search, which means your business is now competing with your local competitors for the top spots for search engine results. This is where local business optimization comes in.
If your business does not have competition in the area, this is incredible news because you can easily be in the top position without much hassle. But for those small businesses that do have competition in the area or region, having a well working web presence that is locally optimized will rank you first on search results, above the rest.
So what does it mean to be ‘locally optimized’? Follow these simple on-site and off-site SEO guidelines. Ok, I know that might be a little vague, so here are some steps for local business optimization.
- Include your city name in your website domain. I know what you might be thinking, “But, we already have a domain…” What I mean when I say this is to have the location appear in at least one URL on your website. This page will automatically become the default landing page for local searchers since it will appear higher than your home page. That is, of course, unless your domain name includes your location.
- Include your City and State in your website Title. Just by including your location in the title of your website will give you a well deserved boost in search results. I did say search engines are all paying close attention to local searches these days.
- Include your location in H1 headings. H1 is the largest HTML heading type. If you aren’t HTML savvy, then by titling pages with your location as mentioned in item #1, the H1 may match what you have as your title.
- Include your location in the header or footer of your website. The header and footer are areas of your webpage that appear on all pages within your website. Since your location then appears on all pages in either the header or the footer, it will be quite apparent where your small business is located.
- Have a Location or Map page that lists your location, with written directions to your business location. Now this might not work for all businesses, especially the internet based ones, but it will be valuable to visitors who want to know where you are located. It also helps to include an embedded mapping service, such as Google Maps, on your location page.
- Use your business name and location as anchor text when hyperlinking to your Home or Main page. Now you may or may not know what anchor text is. It is simply the text that appears as the hyperlink.
- Have external links include your location in the anchor text. By having he location included in the hyperlink anchor text, you are receiving a boost for those keywords on search results.
- Setup a Google Place page for your business. This is a location based service for businesses to highlight their products and services for Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+ users.
- Show your location on your small business social networking profiles. This may be obvious to the social business type, but not every business remembers to put their location on their social network profiles. This helps your friends and followers know where you are, but it also helps search engines rank you locally.
- Tell people where you are. Again, this might sound stupid simple, but just by telling your friends, followers, and site visitors where you are helps pin point your business and rank you for the location on search engines. You don’t always have to give your address, but stating what landmarks you are near or what streets your are facing can even boost you for additional locations.
By optimizing your location on your web presence you can gain a snowball effect when it comes to search engines. You will have an easier time expanding to compete regionally, and then globally.
Ok, I am going to give you a bonus tip for making it all the way through all ten.
- Get other local businesses to link to your website. A backlink is always good, but a backlink from another local business in your area just takes it that extra step. It can go even further if that backlink was coming from a local small business website that has followed the ten steps as well.
If you would like help, contact us here ate Mediaryte to optimize your web presence for local search. We have many services for local small business available for even bigger boosts.