If you’re a small business owner looking to improve your online visibility, then search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial. Local SEO, in particular, can help you reach the right customers in your area. In this ultimate guide to small business SEO, we’ll walk you through the essential steps.
Local SEO vs SEO: What’s the Difference?
The primary difference between SEO and local SEO is the search results you want to appear in. SEO is about ranking in search results that don’t depend on a specific location, while local SEO is about optimizing pages and sites for region-specific results, such as ‘near me’ searches. This type of search helps users find products and services available in their area.
However, optimizing your small business website for local searches involves many of the same steps as regular SEO. Our guide will cover the SEO basics, as well as the extras you need to know about local SEO.
Step 1: Create a Good Website
Your site doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should meet certain standards, such as site structure, loading speed, and security. These factors are essential for all kinds of SEO, as well as user experience. You can use WordPress to create a website, and our free WordPress for beginners training can help.
Branding is also vital for SEO. Your logo and tagline should represent your company without further explanation. Sharing your expertise through blog posts and social media is an excellent way to work on your branding without investing a lot of money.
Step 2: Let Google Know Your Location
To help Google understand where your business is located and put you in the right local results, it’s essential to have up-to-date contact information in all the right places. Ensure your contact details are consistent across all platforms you operate on. Add your contact details in places where users would expect to find them, such as your website footer, and on your contact page.
Local Business Structured Data
Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) details should be correct at all times. To present these details clearly to search engines, use local business structured data, added to your site. Add these details in the correct formatting (in code), using Schema.org details. Our Local SEO plugin can help you set it up easily. It may also help to add your city and state in the title of your pages for easier recognition.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free profile that can help promote your business in the search results and on Google Maps. By making a GMB listing, you can connect with your customers better and find insights about how they interact with your business on Google. Always use the exact same name, address, and phone number on both your website and your GMB listing. Include your website link in your GMB listing too!
Rich Results with Structured Data
If you want your business to stand out in the search results, try getting rich results. Rich results can add extra information and images in the search results. Use structured data to do this. Although there’s no guarantee Google will show the extra elements, it’s worth exploring the opportunities it offers. The Yoast SEO plugin can help you with structured data.
In conclusion, local SEO is a must for small businesses. Follow the essential steps in this guide, and you’ll be on your way to improving your online visibility and reaching the right customers.