Must-Have SEO Strategies

Like digital breadcrumbs, local search strategies are designed to lead customers right to your virtual doorstep. The challenge, however, is to make sure they’re not getting swept away in a sea of online flotsam and jetsam that can derail even the most sincere efforts.

How can you make local SEO ride the tide in your favor? Set your course for success with the following strategies.

  1. Nail the Big Three

While Google nets the lion’s share of web searches, it’s not the only engine you need to account for. Bing accounts for twenty percent of the market, and Yahoo isn’t too far behind. Make sure your business is listed on all three engines. It’s as simple as inputting your business name, address and phone number (NAP) and any other important information, like hours of operation. Also, make sure you’re consistent across all three platforms. Listings that don’t agree cause confusion and errors.

  1. Pick the Proper Categories

While establishing your search engine presence, you’ll be asked to categorize your business. Most engines allow for multiple categories – your job is to choose the correct ones. Be accurate and don’t overlook this task, since all three search engines rarely, if ever, display businesses that aren’t categorized.

  1. Ask for Reviews

Contrary to what your parents preached, it’s okay to brag about your business, especially if you let your customers do it for you. Google, for one, factors reviews into its search algorithms, so the more the better. Of course, it’s up to you to make sure the reviews are positive, but you can control this by living up to – or exceeding – customer expectations.

There’s also a proper way to ask for reviews. Don’t strong-arm, cajole, or nag customers for them. Simply ask politely if they wouldn’t mind sharing their experience on Yelp! or some of the other review sites. A sign in your establishment that does this is okay, too.

  1. Put Your Best Face Forward

Images are everything in today’s digital landscape, so make sure you have plenty of good quality pictures of your business on your website and social media pages, like Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. While you don’t have to be an expert photographer to capture compelling shots of your storefront, products, customers and employees, you should strive for quality images. No thumbs in the corner or red-eye syndromes, if you can avoid them. And if you can’t, get a relative with a photography hobby to take the pictures for you.

  1. Build a Robust Website

A decade or so ago, just having a business website was where it’s at. Now, with mobile devices, social platforms and other offshoots, it pays to think of it as corporate headquarters – a content-rich hub that supports all of your digital efforts. As such, make sure your site has great material to support it. Include the mandatories like NAP, but also feature instructional videos, blog posts, customer testimonials and other information that will get your site noticed and generate links. Then, take things one step further to make sure it’s optimized for mobile. Sites that are gain preferential treatment in Google’s newest search algorithms.

By employing these must-have search strategies, your business can increase its chances of attracting and keeping satisfied customers. And in a competitive digital market, it’s one more way to win.

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