Small business owners in Arizona that cater to local customers require every edge to compete against their larger rivals. The significant advantage that many overlook is ranking on the first page of Google search. Though there are three big search engines, Bing, Yahoo! and Google – Google receives the lion’s share of traffic and thus is the one to focus your efforts on. Also, each offers locally focused products: Google Places (Google my Business), Yahoo Local, and Bing Local.
But simply making a choice to start your local search campaign isn’t enough, you’re probably asking “where do I start?” You start by coordinating your local SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. And to get you going in that direction and to ensure you are entirely prepared for your campaign, I spoke with Mark Alan, President of Mesa SEO company SEO Ranker Agency to get a few local search engine optimization ideas to get you started.
Step 1. Claim your profile.
You need to claim your Google my Business, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places for Business Profiles before you start to make updates. And the sooner you do this, the better because each of these services will want to confirm that you are the owner of this profile. This means either a phone call or a postcard for verification. If you get the post card option be patient as it can take awhile to arrive. Here is an example of a Premier SEO Google my Business listing.
Step 2. Claim as many other listings as you can identify.
There are many directory yellow page type internet sites that can assist with local SEO and that allow you to create an individual listing. Each one you develop is a point in your favor so the more, the better. Yes, it takes time, but every additional social profile or citation is an advantage for you compared with your competitors. This is what a Mesa SEO Yelp listing looks like.
Step 3. Add a contact phone number.
Your customers need to be able to reach you, but a word to the wise, don’t utilize an 800 number. You should list a number with a local area code. This helps identify your company as being from the area that unique area code represents. If you would like to list an 800 number, make it an alternate phone number.
Step 4. Include a local physical address.
You want your listing to be picked up by local search maps so they should recognize where you are. Otherwise, you won’t appear. Make sure your address is correct and consistently listed the same way in every profile. Don’t state “St.” on some listings and “Street” on others. Stay constant in your local search engine optimization efforts. For example, SEO Ranker Agency’s primary address is in Mesa at 2266 South Dobson Road, Suite 200, Mesa AZ, 85202. But we also maintain satellite offices in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Gilbert. Note how for each address, we built a Google MyMap listing. This provides a powerful link back to each page and reinforces to Google our relevance for SEO searches in these geographical areas.
Step 5. Upload pictures.
Photos assist somewhat in the area of local search engine optimization. However, they do make your listing more consumer friendly. This can help attract individuals that might be interested in your services. Assuming you put up decent images! You should not underestimate the value of appropriately naming each image file. For example, don’t just call it ‘img123456.jpg’ instead, name it Premier SEO Agency. jpg Also, use image ALT tags. Google can read these and they can help drive a websites ranking.
Step 6. Ask for reviews.
Any publicity is good publicity. Reviews are promotion whether they are good or bad, they help. Of course, we favor really good reviews over bad. Whitespark.ca is an awesome resource. Check out the following review generator which makes it a piece of cake to get started with requesting reviews from your customers. https://whitespark.ca/google-review-link-generator/
7. Keyword tags.
Consider exactly what a searcher may type into a search engine to locate your services and products. Then make sure you add such tags where feasible to your listing. Some places may have tagging options, and some you simply need to add to the description. But don’t stuff the summary, a few of your most relevant keywords to illustrate your business will do. Following is an excellent guide to help with keyword research.
8. Leverage your uniqueness.
What the small business can offer, large businesses cannot. The level of personalization, the close-knit bond with the client, the possibilities of customizations, etc. are all benefits of running a small business. While you might not be able to offer all of these to your clients at the same time, you can add your flair to the mix to beat others.
9. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating anything.
While the pressures of running a business include making choices, underestimating opportunities is often the difference between companies making it big or not. For instance, many companies over the past few years made the mistake of not paying enough attention to their social media. The lesson that most of them learned the hard way is that their social media activity serves multiple functions including acquiring new customers and maintaining the present ones.
Though these tips work for most small businesses, it is important to understand that there is no single formula for success. These (and other) tips will only guide you, but you need to trek through the treacherous trails on your own. These local search engine optimization strategies will merely get you started. To compete in certain niches such as legal, medical and building trades you’ll need to enlist a local SEO services consultant.