Local SEO For Small Businesses: Rank Higher In Search Engine Results

How To Outrank Your Local Competitors In Organic Search Results

We’ll get right to the not so secret formula for succeeding online… It’s getting your business’s website above your competitors in Google’s and Bing’s search engine result pages. That’s it. Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, it is not easy to get your website to dominate the top ranking positions if you are not a seasoned veteran at optimizing websites for organic search. First, it takes experience and knowledge to get to the top of search engine results and then it takes consistency and dedication to stay there.

Use The Right SEO Strategy For Your Business

The misconception is that you just pick some relatable keywords, write META using them and voilà you are done. While this is somewhat true, there is so much more to local SEO than this.

The first thing you need to know is that there are several types of SEO strategies for optimizing websites for organic search. Each website is unique and this means that a standard SEO strategy will not cut it. While a general SEO plan works for eCommerce websites selling products online or online publication websites that post articles it doesn’t produce the same type of results for local businesses. This is why you need someone who is experienced in optimizing for local search to do the work so your business will show up in search results and also in map results.

Once a professional has evaluated your website and local business, the strategy should consist of three major parts – writing new META titles and descriptions, improving the quality of your local listings and writing new content to target the new keywords and phrases related to searches done locally.


Revise META Titles and Descriptions To Improve Keyword Rankings In Local Search Results

Start with your website’s META to improve the quality of the titles and descriptions on every single page. To do this properly, do a round of keyword search to figure out what people in the area around your business are searching for. Don’t just assume and use keywords you think or hope they are searching for. There are several online tools you can use to find the best keywords to target.

When you have your list of keywords, figure out which page each of these single words or phrases would work best on. If you have more than one, its OK to target two or even three keywords as long as they are unique. Whatever you do, don’t keyword stuff META titles and descriptions. Using the same word over and over again will not get your page to rank higher, it will have the exact opposite effect. Your pages won’t show up in search results because Google will penalize them.

Rank For Niche Keywords Related To Your Local Business

Chances of your website ranking #1 for general keywords or phrases you want to rank for are slim. We are not going to lie and say your website will get to the top position in organic results.

Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t get you to rank much higher for localized niche keyword searches like “seafood restaurants in West Palm Beach”, “West Palm Beach real estate agent” or “primary care doctor near me”.

Search terms like the three examples we provide above are called long-tail keywords and these types of keywords and phrases tend to generate more organic traffic for local businesses than single word searches. The reason these are the types of keywords we go after is because this is what people actually search for when they are in the same city or area as your business.

These keywords for local business searches work because this is how people search in Google using their computer or smartphone. Searches done on devices like Amazon’s Alexa or iPhone’s Ciri also have an easier time matching your web pages to questions people are asking on voice-controlled personal assistant devices when you target keywords that include location information.


Optimize Your Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps Connect and Other Local Listings

Most people assume SEO only applies to their website. It doesn’t, it also applies to your local listing pages. By creating unique company descriptions for each map listing page, picking the most relevant categories that match your business and filling in the other fields will help bring your listing closer to the top of map results.

You also want to add pictures, lots of pictures, to your online business listing pages. These tend to help propel your page to the top of map search also. We recommend you have at least 10 pictures and each month you add one to two more. Also encourage your customers to take their own pictures and share them on your listing pages.

Update Your Yelp and Travelocity Listing Pages

Don’t forget to do the same as mentioned above to website directory pages. Improving the quality of your Yelp and Travelocity listings will help people find your business because these websites will serve your listing closer to the top of search results.


Create New Content To Answer Questions and Provide Information To Local Consumers

The best content you can create for your website are articles and pages that provide an answer or a solution. Take a look at your search console queries found under the performance link to get an idea of the types of searches users are doing to help find ideas for content topics. By using your own data, you can create reinforcement content that is specific to what people are already searching for to find your website.

You can also use Google Trends to find trending topics pertaining to your business. Make sure to use the filtering tools to narrow the search results from worldwide or the entire United States to see what people are currently interested in within your local area.

Revise Old Content To Make It More Current and Better For Local Targeting

A lot of websites have really good content that may now be considered outdated or even stale. Look through your Google Analytics report to figure out which web pages and articles used to get a lot of traffic and now don’t. Revisit these pages and make them new again by rewriting some of the content and to also format the pages to current SEO standards. You’ll be surprised to see what happens when you take a little time to edit your old content to be more current. Google loves to see existing content get updated.


Use Paid Search Ads To Secure Top Of The Page Results In Search Results

PPC has absolutely nothing to do with SEO however when it comes to having your website at the absolute top of search results, paid search ads are a must. These ads will secure the #1 position in sponsored ads as long as you outbid your competitors for the keyword(s) you are targeting in your online marketing campaign.

When someone searches for your business name or keywords related to the local services or products you offer, paid search results always show up at the top and very bottom of search engine results. While organic ranking gets you to the “top” of the page, its not really the first link that displayed. It’s the PPC ads that dominate the very top of the page.

Set up a campaign with an ad group that is specific to targeting localized keywords. While search and display ads are the standard format, don’t forget to also have show local search ads on Google Maps and also Microsoft Bing Maps.

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