Author: Jason Parks / Source: Entrepreneur Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference. I’ve helped
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference.
I’ve helped hundreds of local business owners bolster their SEO. In many instances, entrepreneurs have solicited my business after unsuccessfully trying to boost their own SEO for years. The issue isn’t that they are lacking effort, it is that they don’t know the best place to focus their effort.
I’m going to teach all local business owners how to crush it on their own local SEO, taking just five hours to do it. What entrepreneurs don’t realize is that if you have a physical location, you have a huge benefit in your local market. You need to make sure that you use that to your advantage.
What is local SEO?
I’m sure you have done a Google search and seen the results populate at the top of the page with the map, star ratings, address and phone number. This is what I’m referring to when I say local SEO. This is Google’s Local Snack Pack. Depending on the industry, it has the potential to be the very first result on Google and can make a big difference when it comes to bringing new leads into your business.
Step 1: Create a Google My Business page.
It is free to create a Google My Business page and shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to cross this step off your checklist. This will get your business hours, phone number and directions onto Google Search and Maps. Make sure you add pictures of your business and add a great description so people can familiarize themselves with your local brand directly from your Google My Business page. To verify this process, Google will manually send you a postcard with a pin so make sure to check your mail!
Step 2: Submit your business to local directories.
After you enter your PIN and verify your Google My Business page, you still have a lot of work left! There are hundreds of local directories across the internet where your business needs to be submitted to.
Since you are a busy entrepreneur and we only have five hours to bolster your local SEO, we are going to automate this process. Fortunately, there are services that will take care of this for you. Through Moz Local, Aabaco or Yext, you can get your business submitted to hundreds of directories. The cost associated with this is approximately $89 per quarter. This will be one of the most worthwhile investments you can make from a marketing standpoint.
After submitting your business to one of the aforementioned services, you will appear on sites like MapQuest, FourSquare and Yahoo Local (to name a few). This process will take you 30 minutes and it will help align your local presence.
Tip: If you have moved businesses or are not confident that all of your local listings are consistent, run this test on Moz to check your listings. It is vital that you have consistency with your brand name, address, phone number and other local indicators.
Step 3: Get reviews.
I’m frequently asked if reviews on a Google My Business page will help increase rank. The answer, unfortunately, is somewhat wish-washy. Just because you have more reviews than someone else doesn’t necessarily mean that this will help you surpass them in rank. What reviews will help you do is increase your click-through rate, an important indicator to Google.
If you Google “Columbus SEO Company,” you should see my company populate towards the top of the page, in maps and organically. What I started to notice was that once I focused on getting reviews from customers, I started to get more high quality…