Search engine optimization, or SEO, has become a very familiar, necessary part of doing business online, but for location-based businesses, it works a lot differently.
Local Search Engine Optimization is proving to be a wonderful way of marketing your small local business online. Your can promote their products and services to potential customers, near your location just when then are starting to look for those products online.
Instead of driving traffic to your website and encouraging online sales, it’s all about spreading information to people in your area and driving traffic to your physical location.
Many local businesses, particularly small ones, tend not to pay a lot of attention to SEO because they don’t see the potential for their small geographical audience. But it’s worth remembering that, according to Google, 50% of consumers who use local search on their smartphone visit a store, and 18% of those searches lead to a sale within a day. So if you’re not maximizing these opportunities, then you could easily be losing business to the competition.
Do you have a single business outlet in one location or many stores spread across multiple locations? In either case, you need to have a local SEO strategy. And that strategy must begin with your Google My Business (GMB) Profile. GMB is a directory of local business listings by Google. You can submit your business profile here to make it appear in local search results.
Here are some tools you should be using to make sure you get the best out of your online marketing efforts for your local business.
Since the whole point of SEO is to get found, one of the most important first steps for any business engaging in SEO is to know what people are looking for.
The best way to do that is to learn what keywords they are searching when they want to find your businesses and products. The best tool for this? Ubersuggest. Not only is this comprehensive keyword suggestion tool completely free and very useful in providing keyword suggestion, it pulls its data directly from Google so you can always be sure you’re getting the best results.
Additionally, Ubersuggest tells you how often people are searching for these terms and how difficult they are to outrank or outperform, so you can choose the most ideal words for your strategy based on your content quality and budget.
For local businesses, the best way to start with Ubersuggest is to simply plug in the type of business you run and your city, like we’ve done below with “barber los Angeles”. Once the tool gives you suggestions, choose a few of those and plug them in as well to get even more relevant, useful results.
Pricing: Starts at $29/month. A 14-day free trial can be availed.
2. Local SEO Questionnaire
One of the most important things about local SEO is ensuring that all the information you put out – such as business name, contact numbers, emails, opening hours, etc. – is accurate and doesn’t raise any red flags.
Moz has put together a comprehensive Local SEO Questionnaire to ensure that you capture the correct information and have it recorded for use in your local SEO pursuits. For each question, it provides a short explanation why this information is important to search engines.
This questionnaire was meant for agencies to distribute to their clients, however it will also come in very handy for small businesses handling SEO on their own. Simply answer the questions on the form, then keep a copy on hand as reference when updating your online profiles. And don’t forget to review it regularly to ensure that all the information is still accurate.
Pricing: Basic plan starts at $129/year
3. Moz Local
If you’ve ever had the experience of showing up to a store at a time listed on their website, only to find out their not opened, you know how disappointing that can be.
According to research by Placeable, 73% of consumers lose trust in a brand if its listings contain inaccurate information. This drives home the importance of keeping consistently accurate information about your business online.
For $99 per location per year, Moz Local promises to help you:
- Make sure your business listing has been verified on Google or Facebook
- Complete your business listing with the most accurate information
- Distribute your business listing across the search ecosystem
- Help customers find your business through search
They do this by automatically update your listings once you provide them with details of your business locations, constantly check listings online to alert you of any discrepancies and provide stats on performance of listings so you can know what’s working and what’s not.
If you’re not quite ready to start using Moz Local, you can make use of Moz’s free SEO tools for both online and local businesses, before diving into a paid subscription.
Pricing: Starts at $99/location per year.