A Guide For Upping Your Small Business Local SEO Game

You’re ready to take your small business to the next level, and you know SEO is key to making this a reality.

You know about SEO and have a beginner’s knowledge of how it works, but you want to know how to do local SEO marketing to make your small business even more successful.

Maximizing your SEO skills can greatly increase your online presence.

In this article, we will guide you by looking at the following topics:

  • What SEO is, particularly as related to small businesses
  • Tips to optimize your online presence for one location
  • Tips to optimize your online presence for multiple locations

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What Is Local SEO?

If you are just getting started with your small business, you may be asking, “What is local search engine optimization?”

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important and effective strategy to market your local business online. It is one of the most productive ways to promote your products and services to potential customers who are performing online searches.

Stated simply, local SEO is adding certain things to your website that boosts your online rankings in local searches. This makes Google stop and notice you.

In the end, local SEO is geared to making sure your business is visible online to people who are searching in a particular locality for the products and services you offer.

SEO For Small Business - Is It Different?

There are many obvious differences between small and large businesses. 

Some clear differences may include:

  • Number of employees
  • Size of location
  • Profit margin
  • Total expenses

However, when it comes to SEO, there really isn’t much difference at all between a small business and a large business.

Best SEO practices still apply regardless of business size, and Google’s ranking factors are identical for both small and large businesses. 

In fact – Google doesn’t pay attention to business size.

What does Google pay attention to?

Google is looking for how authoritative your website and content is, so following basic SEO practices that increase the authority of your website should be your focus.

Local SEO For Businesses With 1 Location

You know that using local SEO effectively is important for your company’s success. 

Do you know why it’s so important?

These statistics should help answer that question:

  • 46% of all Google searches are for local information.
  • 72% of consumers that performed a local search visited a store within five miles.
  • “Near me” or “close by” searches have increased more than 900% in the last two years.
  • Four in five customers use search engines to find local information.

As a small business owner with only one location, you may not have a tremendous budget set aside for marketing. 

However, you need to realize that Google doesn’t rank based on budget. 

Google is concerned about the quality of your business’s online presence.

You can boost your presence by considering:

Establish A Google My Business Page

Obtaining a Google My Business page could be the most important first step you take to establish an impressive online presence for your small business.

Google My Business is an important tool that lets you, the small business owner,  manage your Google listings, which makes them more visible when customers use Google Search and Google Maps.

Because it’s such an important step, you may think it must also be a difficult step. That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Establishing a Google My Business page is simple and can easily be set up online.

If you’d like assistance setting up a Google My Business page or with anything to help optimize your business, PSG would love to help. 

We offer services to businesses local to Portland as well as any location across the United States.

Tips To Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Even though a Google My Business page is simple to set up, there are a few components you should pay attention to in order to make your Google My Business listing work for you.

Components to consider include:

  1. Google My Business Title – Since the title is the first thing searchers will see, you need to make it stand out. Use keywords that describe your business and also include the location in your title.
  2. Local Phone Number – Use a local phone number rather than an 800 number. This will assure those searching that you are indeed a local business.
  3. Correct and Exact AddressCustomers need to find you. Don’t forget to edit your profile if you move to a new location.
  4. Geotagged Images – When using images, geotag them with coordinates to your location so that Google knows that your location is where you say it is.
  5. Description – Intersperse keywords naturally in your description that give your readers informative information about your business. 

Establish Strong Online Citations

The online citation has some of the most critical information that searchers will need to initially step through your doors, so don’t overlook the importance of paying attention to the details.

Online citations include any mention of your business’s name, address, and phone number.

Be precise and consistent.

Be sure that your business name, address, and phone number are the same across all platforms.

For example, don’t list your business name as Portland Chiropractic, Inc. in one location and Portland Chiropractors in another location.

You should also list your address exactly the same each time. 

If your address is 111 Northeast Pacific Avenue, don’t list it with full words in one place and with the following abbreviations on another site: 111 NE Pacific Ave.

Harness The Power Of Social Media

Don’t overlook the power of social media.

In 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that 72% of the public uses some sort of social media. That’s an astounding, though not necessarily surprising statistic.

Since SEO is all about making your local business more visible, use the power represented in those vast numbers of social media users to give your business an even more notable online presence.

A few things you can do to make social media work for you include:

  • Create business pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Advertise promotions
  • Link your social media profile to your website
  • Add engaging and relevant content
  • Host live videos

Boost Local Reviews

Since 97% of buyers report that reviews influence their buying decisions, boosting local reviews should also be another aspect of your online marketing strategy.

Online customer reviews add a layer of trustworthiness that search engine algorithms look for.

Tips For Encouraging Customer Reviews

A few tips to encourage pleased customers to leave reviews include:

  • Just ask. Maybe that sounds too easy, but most customers are willing to leave a review if you simply ask them to.
  • Look for satisfied customers. Of course, anyone can leave a review, but if a particular customer lets you know how pleased they were, thank them, and then ask them to share that information with others in a review.
  • Consider automatic reviews. A pop-up form or follow-up email generated after a purchase may be an easy way to automate the process of asking for reviews.
  • Interact with your reviews. When potential customers see that you respond to the reviews – thanking those who were satisfied or promising a correction to those who had a problem – they may be more motivated to leave a review themselves.
  • Encourage reviews by giving incentives. Offering a free item or a discount on a future purchase may be just the push some need to take the time to leave a review.
  • Make good use of receipts. Include a request for a review on receipts given to your customers.

Local Business SEO: Multiple Locations

Google treats multiple businesses as separate entities even though Google recognizes they have the same brand name.

Whether your small business has one location or several, the strategy is still the same. 

However, if you have multiple locations, there are a few additional factors you should consider so each location has its own online presence.

These factors include:

  • Individual website pages for each location
  • Separate Google My Business pages
  • Location-specific reviews

Create Individual Pages On Your Website

You should create unique, individual pages for each of your business locations, and each page should have its own URL.

Even though each page is unique, they should still include some of the same information as:

  • Business name
  • Location
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Relevant content to each particular location, including tags and meta descriptions

Why This Matters

You may be thinking, “Is all this truly necessary?” 

We understand. 

No one wants to do extra work, but in this case, the extra work can result in big wins for your business.

Listed below are some benefits you don’t want to miss out on:

  • More visibility
  • Increased search optimization for each location
  • Increase online traffic to your site
  • User’s success in finding the location nearest them
  • More chances to rank

Establish Separate Google My Business Pages

Each of your business locations should also have separate Google My Business pages. 

It’s easy to manage because you can use the same Google My Business account to create the pages for the individual locations.

Some things to include are:

  • Address of the individual location
  • Direct phone number to the specific location
  • Photos that are geotagged to the specific location
  • Consistent business names

Why This Matters

This extra step means more visibility for your business and guarantees that potential customers searching for a specific location can easily find it.

Encourage Location-Specific Customer Reviews

A business with multiple locations may be tempted to focus on receiving reviews for their business as a whole, but this could severely affect your SEO results.

Encouraging location-specific reviews gives the searcher particular information about the service at a certain location.

Why This Matters

Encouraging reviews for each location is valuable to you since Google shows customer reviews adjacent to your business listing. 

This makes it easier for the person performing the search to see the reviews at the same time.

Most importantly, searchers can find what they are looking for without unnecessary clicking and needless movement online from page to page.

Local SEO Services For Small Business

With all that seems to be involved in making SEO work for your small business, you may be feeling discouraged at the size of the task. 

The task can seem even more daunting, especially if you are new to SEO and don’t yet feel proficient with all the ins and outs.

The good news is that help is available.

Professional SEO services exist to support and lead you in the best local SEO practices.

What Are Local SEO Services?

What exactly can local SEO professionals do for you?

More good news – they can establish and help maintain your online presence by offering the following:

  • Creation of your Google My Business account
  • Creation (or restructuring) and management of your website
  • Guidance in maximizing your social media presence
  • Writing relevant and professional content
  • Utilization of various tools to increase keyword ranking

Best Local SEO Expert - Portland

If you’re looking for local search engine optimization services in the Portland area, we’ve got you covered.

Portland SEO Growth is a trusted, local SEO company with ethical business practices, proven results, and consistent growth.

Success with Portland SEO Growth looks like:

  1. Better Google rankings 
  2. Increased website traffic 
  3. More business

Some of the services we offer include:

  • Local SEO
  • Keyword Research
  • On-Page and Off-Page SEO
  • Link Building
  • SEO Strategy
  • SEO Content
  • Google Maps Marketing

Get started with your free audit today.