Small Business Search Engine Optimization
Implementing Local Small Business Search Engine Optimization
SEO provides an excellent opportunity for you to get the name of your small business in front of potential customers. But in order to reach your local audience, you’ll need to approach search engine optimization a little differently than businesses with a broader scope would. Let’s take a look at five ways to tailor your small business search engine optimization strategy to a local audience.
- Determine Your Goal
– Your goal should be more specific than simply increasing traffic. For instance, a well-defined goal for a catering company could be to target local organizations in need of catering services and persuade them to request a quote.
- Narrow Down Your Keywords – A broad keyword such as “catering” receives more than 9 million searches and delivers 237 million results on Google. That’s 9 million potential customers, but it’s also 237 million websites you’re competing with, without even knowing whether the person searching is in your area or not. Narrowing your keyword down by adding local qualifiers (e.g., catering Greenville SC) reduces those numbers to 1,600 searches and 556,000 results. Those are people in your area searching for what you have to offer. And now you’re competing with significantly fewer websites for those top result spots.
- Claim Your Local Search Listing on Major Search Engines – Google and other search engines look for local search results in their local directories first and then in third party directories. If you haven’t claimed your local listing, you’re at the mercy of whatever information the third party listing has available for you, which could be incomplete or outdated. Search engines typically view businesses that have claimed their own listings as more credible than those that haven’t.
- Flesh Out Your Profile – With your local listing claimed, you can gain even more credibility by fleshing out your profile, including optional details such as customer reviews, photos, and a business description.
- Develop Content – Small business search engine optimization still leans heavily on site content in order to determine site relevance. Remember that your site must be written not only for search engines, but also for the human readers who can recommend it to friends, link to it, and post opinions, all of which can increase your credibility in the search engine algorithm.
Developing a local search engine optimization strategy requires all the same essential elements as any SEO endeavor, plus a few additional tweaks. By understanding the unique aspects of local search, (like the importance of Google Places), you can take advantage of small business search engine optimization to promote your business and increase exposure to your target audience.