10 Local "SEO Tweaks" for Your Small Business

Network marketing isn’t hard, but it takes time and strategy to perfect. Following these tweaks will allow your small site to compete (and in many cases beat) larger sites by targeting your local area.

Just ask DigitalHealthPost or Dubli, who had to learn the hard way after getting bombarded with fake local profiles.

1. Make sure your NAP information is consistent

In case you’re wondering, NAP is an acronym for name, address, and phone number. This information can be found on Google+, Google Places, Yelp, and other sites that contain your business profile. It’s important that this information be consistent across different websites. Having different NAP information on different sites can actually be a negative ranking factor for Google and cause local businesses to not rank well in Google search results.

2. Optimize local pages on your website

Make sure each page’s title tag includes your brand name, location, and any keywords that you are targeting. You can also add the location keywords to any meta-descriptions about the page. It’s very important to make your page title look natural and not stuffed with as many location keywords as possible. As always with SEO, think of the reader first and the search engines second.

Add your address information to the footer section of your website so that it displays on each page. This will make it easier for visitors to find your contact information and the search engines will see it as well.

3. Let Google know where you are

One of the first things you want to do for local website optimization is to make sure Google knows that you are a real brick-and-mortar business with an actual location within the local area. Google has made a real effort to filter out companies that try to appear to be local, but are actually just trying to trick the system.

4. Google+ Local

You can use Google+ to do this by creating a business page listing. By completing Google’s verification process, it will help Google realize you have a real business local to that area.

Google+ lets Google know and verify exactly where you are. One of the first things you do is claim and then verify your free business listing. Google puts search results from Google+ local and Google Places in a prominent position for desktop search results and even higher for mobile.

After you’ve added your business to Google+ local, don’t stop there. Google+ is a great opportunity to build a following for your business within your niche. Unlike Facebook, Google+ is topic specific so you can find people that are interested in your specific area of expertise.

By adding images, links to your website, details about different places, and fresh content, you can give your visitors reasons to visit your Google+ profile and follow you. The more appealing you can make your Google+ listing, the better it will be for your business.

5. Google Places page

Make sure you have a Google Place page. This is one of the highest-ranking factors in local search for Google. Include photos of the highest quality, and offer a virtual tour of your business. Once on Google Places, these images can also be published on other Google properties such as Google+ local, Google maps, and more.

MLM blogs have recently added their Google Places page and have since doubled their local traffic.

6. Local directories

It’s important to have your site listed in as many local directories (beyond Google+ local) as possible. Some of these include Best of the Web Local, Facebook Business Pages, GetListed, Merchant Circle, and Refer Local.

7. Quality and quantity of reviews

Unlike national SEO, having high-quality reviews on sites like Google+ Local, Citysearch, and Yelp can improve your rankings. Search engines have started noticing quality reviews.

You need more positive local reviews...just ask Utah Carpet Cleaners, who left ipads in all their limos to encourage people to leave positive reviews. Sometimes the best way to get these reviews is simply to ask for them. When you find a customer who is happy with your product, you can tell them you appreciate how much they like your product and service and ask if they would mind sharing that information by writing a customer review. You can even go as far as creating a list of instructions that walks people through the process. Remember to ask them to include the correct name, address, and phone number of the business.

The most important place to get reviews to rank better on Google is the Google+ Local pages. Other websites can be helpful too.

If you have already taken the time to build an email list, why not ask those customers for reviews? In most cases if they care enough to subscribe to your emails, they will probably give a good review.

8. Using the place schema

Along with making sure all of your addresses are correct, you also need to make sure they can be read by the search engines. At schema.org, you can find a collection of HTML tags that you can use to mark up the pages on your website, so they can easily be read by the search engines.

9. Get local links

Unlike a national campaign, where you can get links from anywhere, local SEO requires getting links that are local to your area. Some examples can include the Chamber of Commerce, nonprofit organizations (consider donating), your local newspaper, and local community blogs.

10. Keep your content fresh

Create a content marketing strategy to make sure your local pages get regular, fresh content.

We did this with an Empower Network overview recently and found that the freshness factor bodes well with Google. When search engines see fresh content, they know your site is active. One great way of ensuring regular local content is to create a blog. This makes adding regular content easy.


Start your local SEO campaign with your own website. Make sure that all of your NAP information is correct on your website, and that the appropriate information is listed in the title and footer pages. After your website is up and running with the appropriate tweaks, add your site and other information to the local directories. Make sure you use the same NAP information on every profile.

Keep adding content to your website and your Google+ profile as part of your content strategy. This fresh content will pay off over time and keep your site ranking higher for local. When appropriate, ask for a positive review from people that like your products or services. Remember to get a few high-quality local backlinks for your site.

When you combine all of these, you will gradually see your site rise in the local SEO rankings. It won’t happen overnight, but if you include it in your overall strategy, you will definitely see improvement in your local SEO over time.

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