14 SEO Strategies for Your Local Business
Brandon Schmidt | Feb 21, 2018
Here are 14 of the most common SEO tactics used by local businesses — and which ones you should use.
If you are a small business owner or marketing manager, you’ve already heard that you need search engine optimization (SEO) services for your website. But how can you be sure you get the right SEO services? And once you’ve hired an SEO firm, how can you know you are getting a good return on your investment?
What is the purpose of SEO?
Simply put, SEO deals with structuring and improving your content so it can best be read by your visitors and search engines. You want your content — written, audio, video, or images — to be found by the right audience and drive them to take action. SEO can help.
Here are some benefits of investing in SEO:
- Improve search rankings. Over time, you will see your site rise higher in the rankings for target keywords and searches.
- Stay ahead of your competition. If your competition is investing in SEO services, they may jump ahead of your site and grabbing your prospective customers. A good SEO agency can track how your site is performing in relation to your main competitors.
- Cost-effective digital marketing strategy. Not all digital marketing strategies are created equal. Paid search is great for generating leads now, while social media marketing is perfect for building and interacting with your community. But search engine optimization is the right fit for those that want to make a long-term investment into the organic performance of your website.
Are there different types of SEO?
Yes and no. As a whole, SEO works with your website design & development, social media marketing, reputation management, and paid search efforts to improve your rankings and help you get found by more potential customers. Yet under the umbrella of SEO lay dozens of tactics, approaches, and strategies to meet the goals of specific industries, business types, and niches.
14 Types of SEO Tactics
Here are some of the most common tactics used by SEO companies:
Local SEO has to do with optimizing for proximity searches, helping companies and individuals show up in the map pack and atop localized searches. You may not even need a traditional website to rank locally; plenty of plumbers and service providers show up in local search with only a Google My Business profile.
This tactic involves sending Google the right signals about your physical location, service area, and community. You will also want to claim and optimize your Google My Business profile. Most small businesses, practitioners, churches, and organizations would benefit from local SEO.
On-site SEO involves improving the visible content and even layout of your site, optimizing it for target keywords and high-value pages. SEO efforts will focus on content on each page, including headings, images, and the structure of the paragraphs. It will also involve the hidden parts of the page that will show up in the search results, including title tags and meta descriptions.
Working hand in hand with on-site SEO, technical SEO focuses on the hidden settings and structure of your website. In this area, time is spent making sure there are no roadblocks keeping search engines from indexing and crawling your site.
Off-site SEO is a catch-all term, used to describe all the SEO efforts that do not happen on your website. This can include work on your Google My Business profile, claiming and optimizing leading internet directories, and citation management. Some SEO agencies automate this task, essentially placing your information in a SEO tool and letting it do the work.
If your are in the product business, there are some additional SEO tactics you can take to have your product rank. By adding structured data and even changing the layout and information on the product page, you can see a boost in rankings and traffic through product SEO.
Websites for eCommerce have their own unique goals when it comes to ranking. Optimizing for selling online can include improving category pages, managing variations, and working on internal search.
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the internet; if you are doing any type of video marketing, it makes sense to have your videos uploaded and optimized on this platform. Video SEO work can include optimizing the file itself, as well as adding captions and descriptions.
If you have a product or service that lends itself to visual search, you will want to look at image SEO. This includes optimizing the image files, titles, alt tags, and site layout so that your images show up on Google Image Search, Pinterest, and more.
As mentioned above, local SEO is a must for businesses targeting a local area. But what happens if you have multiple locations or service areas? That’s where multi-location SEO comes in.
Multi-location SEO is perfect for stores with multiple locations, law firms with multiple offices, and franchises. We’ve also used this for manufacturers who have dealers in specific regions or towns. Through multi-location SEO, you can send your audience and Google the right signals about each of your locations.
If you have multiple brands or maintain multiple websites, you don’t want them to compete with each other for the same keywords or traffic. With multi-site SEO, your various online properties will work together for a stronger online presence.
As most people are shifting their internet consumption from desktop to mobile devices, so too must the SEO strategies shift. With mobile SEO, your website is optimized for speed, scanning of content, and designed to work well on smaller screens.
App Store SEO
If you are an app developer, you know how important it is to rank high in the App Store for your keywords. This type of SEO helps you improve your rankings and be found by more potential users.
Amazon, Pinterest, and YouTube are all massive platforms that have their own search on their site. If your business depends on being found on one of these sites, you’ll want to invest in SEO services to target the unique algorithms found on that platform.
Voice Search SEO
With the popularity of Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, there is an opportunity to optimize your content for voice searches.
What SEO services do you need?
With all the different SEO tactics available, it can be hard for you to know which ones will actually help move the needle and increase traffic, and what tactics would be a waste of time and money. At the end of the day, you probably don’t care about the tactic, you want to see the results.
The right SEO company can clear away the fog, showing you what will work best for your business based on your digital marketing goals. They will also establish proper measurements and benchmarks, so you can see how well their SEO efforts are working. And they will combine their SEO work with other digital marketing tactics — including website development, reputation management, and paid search — to increase the effectiveness of all your online efforts.