The local SEO best practices have changed tremendously in the past years. Before, you could slap NAP (name, address, and phone) in your footer and get traction. Or, you'd blog about local topics + [Your City, State] in the title for a quick win.Today...Google and other local search aggregates use hundreds of ranking factors. You could do them all and still get outranked by the competition. Why? Because Google wants good listings and this requires quality over quantity.How are businesses ranking for their brand and offers? What are the best local SEO tactics you can try today? Read on, small business owner, because you're about to blow away the competition.
Seven Tactics to Take Over the Town
Your competitors have likely invested time and finances in local SEO. Yet, few moves on to advanced tactics. This gives an opportunity to outrank them in markets they thought to have claimed.What are those advanced local SEO tactics?
Give back to your community by sharing your expertise. This could result in news coverage or shout-outs (links) from business peers. A link from a reputable news website would A) create a strong backlink, and B) build brand awareness.This works for all business even in hyper-tough markets. The process looks like:
- The business shares valuable, free advice to build awareness and authority.
- Continued efforts with content and outreach land news coverage.
- Added authority makes them a go-to source for their industry.
There are other, smaller ways to take part. This could include responding to local business surveys (seen here) or phoning in a tip.
2. Reciprocal Associations
Creating an industry award was an easy way to build links once it became respected in its community. The embedded graphic included a link. This badge then pointed links back to the award distributor -- building their SEO.Today, mass links (like badges and those in footers) are frowned upon by Google. But, you can replicate it while following guidelines. How?
- Get in touch with local business owners.
- Ask if they would engage in reciprocal marketing.
- Have them include your business on a 'partners' page.
Smooth the process by referring a few leads before asking.This could expand your backlink profile with generalized links. Or, have targeted, keyword-rich links adding local SEO benefits.
Google doesn't trust sites leveraging private blog networks (PBNs). This is a response to low-quality link wheels. Instead, consider building an authority microsite with top-notch content.It would go like this:
- Pick one important topic found in your business niche.
- Develop a highly-informative site dedicated to that topic.
- Add a "Brought to you by..." on its homepage.
This creates a website asset allowing you to target a broad topic. But, point back to your site using a keyword-rich, local link. The domain authority develops as this site grows in popularity. This results in a strong link for local SEO purposes.Example: AnswerThePublic.com, a helpful research tool, was built by CoverageBook.com. This built awareness and strong links to their service.
4. Sponsor an Event
Local sports leagues, charities, and events are a prime opportunity to build brand awareness and local SEO efforts. Many organizations have open enrolment for sponsorship. This requires a small donation.Try this: "Your City" + Become a sponsor.You'll find a mix of sites detailing how to become a sponsor. Call or email the organizer, sponsor the event, and gain a link from their sponsors' page. Ask to have the link as a keyword-rich, local term for an added SEO bonus.
5. Create Consistent Citations
Own your local listings!There are hundreds of local listing services and sites. Many automatically pull business info from databases. Is the information inaccurate? If so, you need to fix the errors to create consistency.Do the following:
- Use a citation tool to automatically compile and update local listings
- Invest in local SEO services to fix the listings and provide reports
This cleanup eliminates misinformation dragging your site down. Or, adds missing citations where they could benefit.
6. Offer an Affiliate Program
An affiliate program pays partners when they generate sales to your site.A partner's job is generating leads. Some are incredibly good at it. A 5-10% commission -- about industry-standard -- for sales on your site will entice many to join.What are its long-term benefits?
- Expand backlinks from their promotional efforts and campaigns
- Gain and energize new customers to share with their social circle
You could set program stipulations and brand guidelines. This creates quality relationships and strong backlinks via native content. Fill out an affiliate management role to aid partners and the local leads will roll in.
7. Explore Video
Video content creation is easy:
- Convert well-performing blog posts
- Shoot 1-2 minute answers to common questions
- Show products and services (updates and tutorials)
- Interview customers and passionate followers
- Do a live video of a product launch or hot promotion
Use your smartphone video camera and Bluetooth mic to begin. Then, upgrade to better video production equipment as you improve. OS and video platforms have built-in video editing tools to clean-up the production.Remember to:
- Upload to YouTube or Vimeo.
- Create a catchy, keyword-rich title.
- Fill in the video description.
- Add a link to a landing or home page.
These hyper-local videos will appear in local search. This increases brand awareness. Your growing authority creates opportunities for news coverage and reciprocal links.
Save Time and Money, Get Better Rankings
We get it. Trying to balance your business and local marketing campaigns is frustrating. Not only are you deep in attempting tactics, but, you're also feeling overwhelmed with how quickly those tactics need to change.Before long you're feeling burn-out. The local SEO efforts usually come to an end, but not anymore.WebSuitable provides a host of affordable Internet Marketing solutions including:
- Paid search
- Reputation management
- Content marketing
Our efforts are results-driven. Don't believe us? Look at our portfolio.We believe we can do the same for your small business. All it takes is a phone call (877.293.9932). Get in touch and learn how our services can take your small business to the next level.