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Local SEO tips for Small Businesses

Improving your local SEO can be a huge boon for attracting more business. You need to effectively position your brand in search engine results. But is it possible to dominate search results with content you control — or at least content you’ve influenced? As a matter of fact, yes.

 

There are simple, effective ways to boost visibility for your business in search results while simultaneously improving related marketing efforts in social media, ratings and reviews, and media outreach. Here are a few of the ways to make search engine results work for you:

 

Properly optimize information on your website:

Make sure your domain name reflects your business type and its location. If you own Steve’s Bait Shop in Tulsa, for example, “stevesbaitshoptulsa.com” is a perfect domain name.

 

Add keywords on page titles that identify with your business, its services and its location. Also, be sure to incorporate your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) information not only on your homepage or contact page, but also on each individual page of your website.

 

Make sure you are in charge of your business listings on third-party websites:

 This is one of the most effective ways to boost local SEO. Google and other search engines regularly scan these sites to develop a stronger understanding of the local Web and your business.

 

When your business isn’t listed — or the information listed about it is incomplete or inaccurate — there is a risk of diminishing or negatively impacting your business’ placements in search results.

Search leading local listings sites such as Dexknows, Yelp, YP and Yellowbook (along with standards such as  your Google business listing) to ensure your business is listed, that you have claimed your listing, and that the business name, phone and address posted are consistent and accurate. Fix inaccurate information as necessary and delete duplicate pages.

 

Encourage and respond to online reviews:

Nothing is more damaging to your business than to ignore negative reviews. In general, reviews are good for your business, providing you’re providing a good service! You want to encourage reviews, but it’s critical to take a hands-on role in rectifying issues with negative reviews.

 

Whether it’s a simple email after a service is rendered or a flyer at checkout, the more positive, authentic reviews your business receives, the better your business will appear in search (both on search engines and the local review sites themselves).

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