SEO for Local Business – A step by step guide
If you are a local business and are having trouble getting your website to rank, read on!
I have been developing and marketing websites for local businesses for 8 years. As part of my development process I always make SEO part of the package.
SEO is expensive, both in time and money. If you have time it is something you can do yourself (this guide will help you).
If you have money then get in touch, we can get an SEO action plan in place. We can help your business get noticed online.
A quick 5 step SEO action plan for local businesses
Before you do anything on your website, you need to do your research. It is important to understand that Google does not care how good looking your website is. If your content is not relevant to your topic, you won’t get any traffic.
Research is your first step. You can use a keyword research tool to get the job done and find the key words and phrases that matter to your business. Google has a keyword research tool called “Google keyword Planner”.
There are other paid tools that can go deeper than what Google can uncover for you. It is up to you what tool you use but ensure that you get enough keywords to get you started. Your visitors need a reason to come back time and time again. It all starts with keyword research.
During the keyword discovery phase, it is also important to grab competition data. Finding out how hard a keyword is to rank for is very important. You dont want to write a 2000 word article that gets buried in search results!
Keyword research is an ongoing task. You need to do it consistently so that you can maximise the results you achieve from SEO.
Check out your competition
SEO is very niche dependent. Some markets are easy to rank as they do much of their work offline, or have lower marketing budgets. This means somebody with knowledge can outrank the competition without too much trouble.
Other markets, for example web design, marketing or anything related to the web have a tough time! We need to put some real effort in to gain traction.
That being said there is always a gap in every market that needs to be filled.
You will always find a gap in every market that needs to filling. You might need to dig a bit to uncover new sub markets in a saturated niche, but trust me, they there!
You can use specialised tools to figure out what your competition is doing online. Moz, Semrush and ahrefs are a few examples. These tools can help you work out how many backlinks a competitors page has for a particular page. This is very useful when writing an article for a new site and can save you lots of time.
Optimise your website
If you have an existing website, then it’s a good idea to scan it for any issues.
Things to look for can be:
- URLS that are too long
- Missing Header tags
- Missing alt tags
- Missing images
- Underoptimised pages
- Keyword stuffing
- Missing meta
- Missing internal linking
- Missing XML sitemap
There are other factors to consider when optimising your website.
SSL (secure sockets layer) is now a ranking factor according to Google. Even if your webiste isn’t accepting online orders, you should get an SSL certificate.
In 2019 most hosts provide free SSL certificates. An SSL certificate protects your visitors from a variety of attacks. It is not just e-commerce sites that need protecting. If your website has an much as a form, you need an SSL certificate.
Pagespeed is also a ranking factor. A good looking, well optimised website is useless if it does not load in a reasonable time. Your visitors will leave.
Wether you build your site yourself or have a website developer build it for you, make sure it is well optimised.
Promote your website
Finally, promote your website! If you write something you are proud of, share it and get your fans to do the same.
Make sure the major search engines know about your page, get it indexed. Get some comments, likes and shares going on the page and start building some links.
Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to get the word out. You can pay for ads on search engines for specific pages. Offline advertising can work too.
Just be sure to stay within the rules. Don’t try any fly-by-night black hat tricks to game Google. They may work in the short term, but we don’t recommend that you engage in them.
Don’t have time to promote your website?
If you would rather spend your time on more productive parts of your business then get in touch. We have a dedicated team of SEO guys and girls, both in-house and remote who live and breath SEO.
We can help your business achieve more by creating a custom SEO strategy. We also provide a complete report of all work undertaken.
We offer a short trial contract of only 3 months for new clients. If you are not happy with our work you are welcome to walk away after 3 months.
We do not offer shorter SEO contracts. SEO is a long term investment and takes time to see real results.
Ready to start? Use the contact form below!
If you want to take your website to the next level, I've got the creative and technical experience to get you there.
Since 2011, I've helped small businesses and entrepreneurs generate leads and sales with user-centric design, data-driven insights, and improved user experiences.Let's get started