Are you a local business trying to compete with larger companies and websites for a top spot in search results? It may seem like a daunting task as more established websites often outrank smaller businesses in areas such as keywords. However, that doesn’t mean local businesses can’t compete with large companies and websites to rank at the top of search results. Here are five tips to consider for improving your business’s visibility in local search results.
- Own Local Shelf Space in Google ResultsBy claiming and optimising your business listing on Google, you’re feeding the most accurate and up-to-date information about your business directly into the search engine. Also, make sure you’ve got the right business details on your website and that they are 100 percent consistent and accurate across your web presence.When a search engine detects keywords representing a local search for a type of business, it’s usually going to show a succinct list of relevant, optimised local businesses. In fact, Google recently debuted a highly competitive Local Map Pack which emphasises the three most relevant local business listings. This is one area where local businesses can really compete with bigger brands in local search results.
- Pair Your Paid Search Ads With Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)Research has shown that using paid search advertising along with SEO can drive better results. Within a paid search campaign, it’s useful for local businesses to test and optimise a large volume of long-tail keywords (three /four keyword phrases which are very specific) to help get visitors to their website or landing pages. Plus, with an integrated paid search and SEO strategy, you can gain keyword insights from both efforts and use these to support your paid ad and SEO tactics. For example, you can take your top-performing paid search keywords and make sure you’re optimising organic content on these keywords and topics.
- Create Relevant Onsite Local ContentWhen creating content for your website or blog, focus on creating useful, relevant content that uses long-tail and geo-related keywords (include a geographic location). These styles of keywords represent an opportunity for smaller websites to outrank larger ones in search. Geo-specific content as a result performs well for smaller, local businesses. Publishing regular, high quality, optimised content is a great strategy to help your business gain more visibility.
- Leverage Offsite Content to Boost Your Web PresenceYou can further increase the visibility of your business in search results by getting featured on other authoritative sites. Approach this with a keyword-smart strategy and work with trusted local media outlets to provide your expertise in quotes, media appearances and stories that are timely and relevant. These articles can be written by you or your staff and can boost not only your business presence on relevant local media sites, but also you website’s organic results by building high-quality inbound links.
- Make Your Website ResponsiveTo get more traction from your search engine marketing strategy, you need to go mobile with your website and landing pages. Google’s mobile algorithm update encourages websites to be mobile friendly if they want to rank well on Google. Local businesses often have more flexibility than many large businesses to quickly shift to a mobile-responsive website, making it easier for them comply with Google’s updates. Since research shows that a large portion of mobile search is local, ensuring that you have an entirely mobile-friendly website can help you get ahead of the competition for local search queries.
How does your business stack up when it comes to competing with big brands in local search results? Are you taking advantage of any of these strategies? What else would you add? Tell us your thoughts in a comment below.