So you’re opening a new soul food restaurant or mechanic shop in your town. Perhaps you’re already running a local business and you want more customers. Either way, you’re asking the question, “How do I market my business to a local audience?”. One cost-effective strategy to consider is running a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. In doing so, it is often required to comply with the gatekeeper that is Google Search.
Putting The “SE” (Search Engines) in SEO
Sure there are search engines like Bing & Yahoo, but they’re secondary fodder to Google. Plus complying with Google’s standards usually complies with most other search engines. In doing so comes the ways of pleasing them & their bots through SEO. As a quick refresher from our last post, SEO is optimizing your website for SERP (search engine result page) rankings within a niche. For local businesses that rely on a service address like a salon, local SEO is the preferred strategy. It slims down thousands of national results for plumbing to a few dozen regional results for a town or neighborhood.
Using On-Site And Off-Site SEO
In the realm of SEO, there’s both off-site and on-site SEO to target. Off-site SEO means having related websites and pages linking to any page on a site. This includes (but not limited to) getting linked by an authority site within a niche, online news article, and social media posts. Getting referenced by these sources is the equivalent of rubbing elbows with notable people to impress someone. That someone, of course, would be Google/Bing/Yahoo. Meanwhile, you have on-site optimization, which is ensuring the site is readable for both people and search index bots. This includes having a clean layout and a healthy use of keywords in the content. Proper on-site SEO also ensures the site is fast & responsive, and the site can load cleanly for mobile users. Overall, if off-site SEO is rubbing elbows with notable people, then on-site SEO is grooming oneself to be presentable to these notable people.
Bringing It Together For An Invaluable Strategy
With on-site and off-site SEO working together, site rankings go up dramatically. This creates an invaluable source of traffic for a business site. It’s a strategy that ranks websites solely reliant on online traffic. So imagine the great value of SEO in addition to other marketing efforts. Why not have your law office or bakery use the same strategy that online businesses use in getting traffic? It’s something to consider whether you choose to put the work in yourself or hire a local SEO firm. Because in the end just because you run a local business, it doesn’t mean your web presence can’t use the same winning tactics that the bigger sites use to get traffic.