“We need help growing our business. What can you do?”
When we sit down with prospective customers, that’s often one of the first things we hear. We work with a lot of small businesses from across New York City, and anyone who operates in the Big Apple knows the competition is fierce. There are millions of customers all around you, yet at the same time, countless competitive businesses are fighting for their attention.
So what’s our answer? Drumroll please…
Local Search Engine Optimization
This is the answer! While there are other tools that can help you grow your business, few of them are as powerful, effective, or proven as local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Many people now start their search for products and services by heading a search engine. With local SEO, you can make sure that they see your business.
This is certainly true for people looking to order products online. It’s also true, however, for people looking for the “best bar in Sheepshead Bay”, “top NYC marketing agency”, or whatever else. If people want to find something, Google is often the first place they’ll turn.
Local SEO refers to efforts to make sure that your business and website turn up at the top of localized search results. These days, Google and other search engines recognize that when people are looking for products and services, they’re often looking for businesses nearby.
If you want to find the “best dentist in Manhattan,” you don’t much care about dentists in Syracuse, do you? You probably don’t even care about the best dentist in Queens. Even if you simply type “best dentist” into a search engine without specifying an area, most of the presented results will be for businesses near you.
This presents an opportunity for small businesses. Let’s take a deeper look at localized SEO.
How You Can Engage in Localized SEO
If you want to appear in localized search results, you need to make sure your website and business are appealing to search engines. Check out our basic localized SEO guide below:
- Set up a Keyword-Rich Website: Even small brick and mortar stores need keyword rich websites. Once you set up a site up, you can litter local SEO terms, like “microbrews in Brooklyn” and “best burger in Manhattan” around your site. You should have plenty of photos mentioning local areas and keyword-rich headers as well. A bit of on-page SEO can go a long way.
- Set up Your Google My Business Page: Google wants to make it easier for users to find businesses. That’s why the company offers My Business pages. You can take control of your My Business page, listing your operating hours, address, contact details, and more. Google will often view this as the “official” source of such information, especially if the business in question claimed their page.
- Don’t Forget Social Media: Facebook and other social media platforms allow you to list your address, operating hours, and all the like. Social media also makes it easy for you to reach an audience. (You can also geotarget ads, but that’s not SEO.) Some platforms even let you geotag pictures and the like. Do all of the above and start building a localized presence.
- Be Consistent Across Your Assets: Now, here’s the important part. If you followed the above steps, you’ll have a few assets at your disposal. Make sure that the address, operating hours, and other details are consistent across each and every asset. No exceptions. If Google doesn’t know what information is correct, your rankings could suffer.
Another big step is to drum up plenty of reviews under your Google My Business page and elsewhere. Google and other search engines favor highly reviewed businesses. After all, if your current customers love your products or services, your future customers likely will too.
We’ve only touched on localized SEO tactics. At Media Explode, our own localized SEO efforts have paid off and our customers are increasingly finding us when they type in keywords related to our New York-based marketing agency.
If you want to improve your localized SEO efforts, get in touch!