Local SEO is one of the more confusing and frustrating aspects of your Digital Dialtone. The problem with Local SEO is that there is no formula for success, simply best practices. Google does not share all the aspects of SEO and what makes one page rank higher than another. Nobody knows for sure. Just what you wanted to hear, right?
The good news is that Google has been quite vocal with their strong advice in this area: be yourself online. Write interesting and compelling content. Get other people to talk about you online. Google wants to see that your business is part of the local online conversation on a regular basis. Just like in real life – the more people talk about your business, the more likely you are to be discovered by potential customers.
One of the definitive resources for Local SEO is created by David Mihm at Moz. He recently posted their latest Local Search Ranking Factors – this may be a bit technical, but it’s important reading for small business owners. You must know what things you can and should do to improve your SEO – and most importantly, when an SEO expert tells you they can help you show up on page 1 of Google Search, make sure you understand what tactics they are using – and realize that nobody can guarantee you will make it on page 1. Also, nobody can guarantee that once you get to page 1 that you will stay there.
So, what should you do? You don’t have time or expertise to do all this yourself, and you don’t want to throw money out the door for somebody who can’t guarantee success. Local SEO is a combination of two items, and you must do both:
- technical understanding of things you can do to make yourself more visible to Google – on your website and social media
- regular and consistent information about you being posted online – whether it be a blog, a review/feedback site, social media shares or other public content
You can rely on experts/professionals for #1. You can only rely on yourself for #2 if you really want it done right. Nobody should be the mouthpiece for your small business than you. When somebody is talking with you in person about your business, do you ask them to talk with somebody else? I hope not! The same thing goes online – the voice of your business should be your own.
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Here is a great post with some basics you should do to enhance your Local SEO – these fall into both buckets above, so you can have an expert help with some of the website stuff, and you should be focusing on the engagement suggestions. You’ll also have to be the one to claim your business on Google – which if you haven’t done, stop reading now and do it!
We’ll be talking much more about Local SEO, if you have questions or comments we can address let us know.