As a small business, focusing on the local aspect of SEO is one of the best ways to draw in relevant traffic.

When you first start your business, a lot of thought goes into deciding on a location –finding a place where people will be able to find you.

Time is also spent advertising and promoting your company –getting the word out about your products or services, and making sure your potential customers hear about you.

When it comes to the online aspect of your business –the same basic principles apply. You want potential customers to be able to find you easily, and know who you are. That’s why SEO –optimizing your website to be found easily in search results, is so important.

By taking some time to make sure your website is optimized to rank higher in search engine results, you’ll increase your chances of being discovered by customers who are searching for the products or services that you offer. Here’s a run through on local SEO practices for small businesses. See how you can help your company to be found.

Add Location-Specific Keywords

The right keywords can help increase your chances of being found by local searchers. Including keywords and phrases that have your city or region in them can help your customers to find you.

As a general rule, you’ll want to follow some standard guidelines when choosing your keywords.

  • Your keywords shouldn’t have a tremendous amount of competition: this will lower the number of hits you receive.
  • There should be a reasonable amount of people using that word or phrase in their searches.
  • The keywords should be relevant to your business or company.

Brainstorm and come up with some keywords that your clients will most likely search out. It may take some time at first, but soon adding keywords and phrases into your blog posts or website content will become second nature.

Some places on your website or blog where you’ll want to include location-specific keywords include:

  • Tags
  • The URL
  • Headlines
  • Subtopics
  • Meta-Descriptions

The best way to boost your website’s rankings for local searches is by including your location as often as possible. To keep from overusing your location, only include it where it fits. You might also want to consider including your address on every page. Learn more about choosing keywords for your website.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media plays an important role in your company’s search engine rankings. Be sure to set up a presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

Taking advantage of high-ranking social media platforms is great for SEO. Be sure to include your business name, address, and phone number on your social media profiles. Having a Google Plus profile can be especially beneficial for a small business, since a Google Plus business page syncs up with Google Maps, putting your business “on the map” –allowing local customers to easily find you.

Try to Get Local Reviews

Getting positive reviews from locals can tip the scales heavily in your favor when it comes to SEO. Seventy-two percent of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to Search Engine Land. Fifty-two percent say that a positive online review makes them more likely to use a local business.

While it isn’t always easy to get your customers to leave feedback, the feedback you do receive from locals is extremely valuable. Great feedback can result in a higher click-through ratio to your site, boosting the amount of relevant traffic that your website sees. As another bonus, reviews are also included in search engine results.

Mobile Optimize Your Site

Another important area of consideration is to make sure your site is mobile-optimized. Roughly 40 percent of all mobile searches on Google have local intent, and it’s important to make sure you’re not losing out on this valuable segment. Having a site that loads poorly on smart devices will drive traffic away, causing you to lose potential customers.

Use Analytics to Track Your Traffic

It’s a good idea to get your website set up with Google Analytics. It’s free, and a great tool that can help you to track how much traffic your website is getting, and lets you know where it’s coming from. You may want to allow it to run Google Analytics for a week or two before you start optimizing your site, so you can see the difference that SEO can make to your website traffic.

Finally, it’s important to continually make changes, add new links and content, and track your results. Continually strive to make sure your website appears high on your customers’ search engine results, and you’ll do well with your rankings, and gain new –relevant traffic to your site.

Curious about how much traffic you can get?

We can work with you to develop an online marketing strategy that will drive more relevant traffic – local customers, to your website. Get started driving traffic to your website.