SBX 9: How To Win The Local SEO Game

The Small Business Express

When looking for a local business, most people start their search online.  The search engines know this and have been working hard to create a better local search experience for users.

What does this mean for you, the local business owner?

It means great opportunity.

In the past, you were forced to go head to head with the biggest brands and corporation in the world.  You had little to no resources to help get noticed online while they had virtually unlimited resources….it wasn’t a fair game.

With local search engine optimization (SEO), local businesses have an opportunity to outrank bigger companies…..and for the most part, it’s free!  The search engines are trying hard to match a users search intent (Pizza places in Charlotte) to a relevant business like yours (Joe’s Pizza of Charlotte).  This is changing the SEO rules and giving a tremendous opportunity for the little guy to create a very strong presence online.

They say to “go where the fish are”.  For you, they are online.  Check out this episode on winning the local seo game and get started in rising to the top of the local seo search engine results.

In this episode of The Small Biz Express podcast we discuss:

  • Why the search engines are moving towards local search results over universal search results

  • Why customer reviews are so important and how the search engines know when you’re creating fake ones

  • Setting up Google+ Local page and why it’s so important (it’s free!)

  • How to geo target your content to “localize” your web content

  • How Google determines how and when to list your business in the local search engine results (SERPS)

  • Why your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is so important and why so many business owners screw this easy step up

  • Links and citations explained and some easy ways to earn them for your website

  • How social platforms and directories work in the local seo and how to use them to improve your search rankings


Action Steps from this episode:

  1. Getting your Google+ Local page setup properly.  Google offers business owners a free webpage to promote their local business.  You’ll see these listings when a search results shows a map listing on the page with location markers for local businesses in your search result.  It’s really powerful because this page can often outrank much larger sites that you would never normally be able to outrank.  Set it up and take the time to make sure it’s setup properly.  Bing offers something similar, both links are in the resource section below.
  2. Make sure you’re consistent with your NAP.  Name, Address and Phone Number.  This is so easy, yet most business owners get this wrong.  Make sure that your NAP is consistent across the web.  Whether it’s your website, Google Local+, Yellow Pages or various blogs or directories…..make sure you have a consistent NAP or else the search engines might not give you credit for that mention on the web.   Out of the three, your phone number is the most important because it’s the most unique of the three.
  3. Links and citations, what they are and why they are important.  Getting links and citations pointing back to your business and website tells the search engines that people are talking about you and acts as a sort of referral for you and your business.  Some links and citations and more valuable than others.  Try and target relevant blogs, media and directories that are industry related or location related to get the most value from those mentions.  Generic directories don’t really do much, but there are a few that still provide value.  See the resources below for more.

Links and Resources Discussed in this Episode

  1. Create your Google+ Local page for your business free.
  2. Add your business for free to Bing Places for Business.
  3. Great resource for local seo and finding citation opportunities.
  4. Manta.  Still a good general directory to list your business. It’s free.
  5. An easy way to find link opportunities for your business.

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