Local SEO (SEO = Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website to increase visibility so your local business can be found by a local audience through search engines such as Google and Bing. The goal for any local business is to show up at the top of search results when someone is searching for the product or services you offer in a particular area.
Many small businesses can not afford the cost of competitive ads on search engines, so they rely on organic results to get their business in front of potential customers.
Just how many people are searching for local businesses online?
“46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. (Source: GoGulf)"
It’s no surprise that an enormous part of a purchase involves first going to Google and searching for a local business to provide them what they are looking for. You want your business to be the first thing they see and making a great first impression of your brand is critical for success.
Even as larger online retailers are taking the world by storm, there is still a big market for local businesses. Shopping local has been trending up lately, as more residents want to support their local community. Your local business can provide a personalized service that no big box store can match.
Being a New Jersey business owner, you may not have a lot of time to do your own SEO, (not to mention learn how to do it) and that’s OK! If want help with your local SEO then please Contact Us and we can can help.
Note: We are a New Jersey SEO company located in Bergen County. We provide special resources and informational posts for NJ businesses, but our tips can be easily applied to any state, county or city.
If you are ready to improve your local SEO, then let’s get started. We will break down the main areas of local SEO, but you can go to more specific posts if you want to dive deeper into a specific area.
Having an up-to-date and completed profile on Google My Business is crucial to your local SEO efforts. You want to make sure your profile is claimed and the business information is controlled by you. This is your opportunity to showcase your business with photos and information about your business as well as giving your customers valuable information such as locations, hours and links to your website.
We will go over more detail about how to best complete your google my business profile in the following post. Claiming your profile is free and the Google My Business dashboard is easy to navigate.
Keyword research involves finding the search queries that your potential customers use to find the product or service that you are offering (basically, what a user types into Google).
Before you develop your Local SEO strategy, you need to know what keywords you want your business to focus on. Knowing your focus keywords will help you to develop your SEO strategy and guide you on how to setup your website and create relevant content for your consumers.
An example query would be a generic business keyword plus a city location, such as “painter bergen county”, or a service-based keyword such as “computer repair Westwood”. Many users who are searching online are already looking for the product or services that you are offering.
There are some pretty helpful keyword research tools available to help you find keywords for your business. Our post on Keyword Research Tools will give you a list of popular tools (hint: many of them are free!)
Did you know that local businesses who rank in the top 10 positions in Google Local have an average 81 citations? (Source: Bright Local)
Business listings are a very important ranking factor for search engines and provide another way of getting in front of customers. Local business listings are online directories — just like the Yellow Pages which are categorized by industry and location. Claiming and completing your local business listings will improve your online presence and boost your local SEO efforts.
It will be imperative that your business listings are correct, consistent and up-to-date. Business directories have a high domain authority, meaning they are more likely to appear in search results for the same keywords and get a lot of traffic, which increases your brand visibility. They are a go-to for users to browse and find the product or services they are looking for in a particular area.
Majority of business listings are free, and setup is fairly easy. Do it once and you are all set! Our post on Local Business Listings will list all of the business listings you need to set up and how to get it done.
If you don’t have the time to work on creating your own listings, we recommend working with a local business listing service. If you want to learn more about the services that are available, please Contact Us and one of our SEO gurus will be happy to help!
Content marketing is an essential part of any local SEO strategy. By focusing content on local keywords and buyer intent, you increase your chances of dominating the competition and reaching your target audience. Content marketing can contribute to a successful online presence for the following reasons:
Grow audience engagement
Increase brand presence and reputation
Drive leads and sales
Increase social media followers
Improve SEO and domain authority
We will be diving into local content marketing strategies in the following Content Marketing post.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of acquiring another websites’ link to your website. Link building is an ongoing effort and is one of the most challenging parts of any SEO strategy. It takes time, organization and not to mention, patience. Fortunately for small businesses, the process of building backlinks can be easier to achieve at the local level.
Why is link building important for SEO?
When determining how to rank a particular website, search engines look at the number of links pointing to that website in addition to the content on the website itself. The more high-quality links pointing to your website, the more likely you are able to rank well in search results. The number of high-quality links has become (and continues to be) a strong signal to search engines when determining the reputation of a website.
In addition to the effect local link building has on rank, good link building helps your business to develop relationships with other businesses in the community, send additional referral traffic to your website, and enhance your company brand.
So, we mentioned that link building takes effort. It involves research and an organized outreach strategy. The great news is that we are doing the work for you in our Local Link Building Guide (coming soon)! We do the research for you and provide you with a comprehensive list of high-quality backlinks.
This is the first link building guide in our series, and this guide will be focused on link building for NJ businesses!
Our SEO gurus are still hard at work putting this guide together, but if you want to be notified when the local link building guide is available, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Contact Us page.