It’s quite obvious that a lot of people can’t afford a premium location for their business, like a shop on Main Street or a restaurant with interstate frontage. However, in today’s scenario, it hardly matters! With a good local search SEO strategy, you can easily out-market the big guys with the best locations.
“ Around 1/4th of the small and medium–sized businesses find search engine optimization to be the area in marketing where they need most of the help.”
Says a recent data released by the Street Fight Local Merchant Survey.
To solve this problem, I am simply listing down some of the best hacks that you can use to reach the top of local search results. The best part is, you don’t have to spend thousands of bucks or indulge in exhaustive campaigning to get the results!
So, let’s jump to the point!
Best ways to hack local search
If you simply wish to see your business ranking on the front page of Google zoom into these hacks while doing local business SEO.
Hack #1: Get listed on Google My Business (GMB)
If you can successfully configure Google My Business, your local SEO optimization is almost taken care of itself!
Ever searched for a local service or store on Google? The search result you get is something like this,
The Google map pointing to the restaurants, the address, the ratings and all the other details listed here, is what Google My Business can do for you.
Setting up a Google My Business page is pretty easy. It is always advisable to verify your account and edit your business information, to attract new customers and to tell them the story of your business.
Hack #2: Local Directories
Google relies on other search directories like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Yahoo, Yellow Pages. All you have to do is search for the top business directory based on your location and register in all of them. Make sure you register for the free and don’t get into paid memberships or versions unless you know which site is good for your business.
Quick tip: Follow these simple steps,
- Create an excel sheet
- list down all the sites you want to register in
- create an account on each one by one
- maintain the important record like username and password for the future reference (It’s really hard to remember all the details)
- maintain a regular record of the performance of each account, how many people viewed your profile, how many contacted you in a month, how many sales you generated from each lead.
These simple steps will help you to figure out which site is working best for you and how you can utilize it in future.
Hack #3: Take help from your existing customers
Call all your present customers, family, friends, and anyone you know and get them to post reviews (obviously the positive ones!) on your listing(s).
This will help you in two ways, one, to spread the words around about your online presence; two, to attract new customers with the help of those 5-star rating and good reviews.
A Word of caution: Do it in a natural way. It is good to promote your business but boasting around with false and fake reviews can go against you.
Hack #4: Create a Facebook Page
A simple yet powerful hack!
Create an effective Facebook page (with your address, contact, good customer reviews) and invite all your friends to like it.
Make sure you post something relevant on your page at least once a day (max twice or thrice a day, not more than that!… people find it a bit annoying if you post like 20 times a day). Try posting variety of content, videos, images, texts, gifs to make it entertaining for the audience.
Once you start getting good likes, you can use your page insight tool to get the idea about your audience – when they are online, which type of posts they like the most, which day is best to post an offer for better reach.
As your audience grow and like you, your Facebook page will start ranking on the Google local search.
Later, you can use some more tactics to create a great Facebook Sales Funnel to target more potential customers.
Hack #5: You can even use the YouTube!
Make a short video (a relevant and entertaining one) and post it on your YouTube channel. Or create a Video using one of the movie maker tools, all you have to do is pick some amazing photos related to your business, or take a few screenshots of the amazing reviews you got from your customer, pick some nice background music and BANG! You have a video to post!
Hey, these few things while posting the video:
- Make it short (max 2 minute long)
- Tag the video with few relevant keywords and hashtags (like best supermarket in London, or best cafe in Manhattan)
- Put your contact and address slider or image at the end of the video
- Include a Call to action button like Call Us now, Get free quotes, Visit us now.
Hack #6: Create a Google+ account
While listing in search results, Google+ will help you in many ways. You need to set up a Google plus page for your brand. You will have one more social platform to reach your potential customers, and it will help in getting to the top in search results. If you already have a Google My Business account, you don’t need to worry about creating a Google+ account, it’s already included in the setup. Just make sure you have updated all the latest information and post regularly to engage your audience and generate more leads.
Hack #7: Start a Blog
This one will definitely give you the extra edge to keep you ahead of your competitors!
You can write about your business, your success story, what all you are doing in your business currently, few helpful insights for your customer for better purchases, insider tips and stuff like these. This will help you to go that extra mile for your customers and ultimately you can start getting listed in the search engines and later you can even earn from your blogs!
To know how to start your blogging expedite read the step-by-step guide to start a blog fo FREE.
Hack #8: Post more pictures
This one is the insider tip! 🙂
Every time you post a picture anywhere on the internet be it your Facebook page, your business listing pages, on Google+, it gets indexed in the search engines. Which means it will show up in the search results (probably in the image section), every time someone search for that specific keyword.
Your job is to make sure that you upload and NAME your pictures with some useful keywords.
Note: Keywords are the words you type on the Google bar while searching something. Example, how to do list your business, local SEO for business, the best bakery in New York.
Hack #9: Leverage the power of reposting!
Repost your most liked content at a regular interval. Also, if you are blogging, you can simply repropose your existing content. This will save your time of creating a new content from the scratch. Also, you can be a bit of consistent with your branding efforts.
Hack #10: Keep a tab on your competitors!
The important element of any strategy is to watch your competitor’s activities closely. Local SEO is no exception to this rule! It is possible that the competitors in your area are not using the SEO tools but business in your neighboring areas are stealing your local ranking. So you can work on accordingly to improve your search ranking.
Though you can have your own website and can do the SEO work, but it’s totally okay if you don’t wanna invest in it. You can simply follow these small business SEO hacks to generate more leads from online medium.
In case you need some expert help to handle the local search SEO, feel free to contact me anytime!