How to Create an SEO Strategy for Your Local Business
Few businesses today can thrive without building a robust online presence. This means creating a website, curating plenty of written content, and promoting your products or services on social media. But the work of drawing traffic to your local business doesn’t end there. To keep attracting new customers to your business and have an edge against your competitors, you’ll need to understand the basics of search engine optimization.
SEO involves many moving parts. Keyword research, meta descriptions, and analytics all play a role in how well your business stands out online. With that said, it isn't likely that focusing on just one or two aspects of SEO is enough to thrive in today’s digital environment. Instead, businesses need to create a complete SEO strategy that brings all these elements together.
Read on to learn more about how to build an effective local SEO strategy, including common pitfalls to avoid along the way.
Why Is It Essential for a Business to Create an SEO Strategy?
Search engine optimization is all about making your business easier to discover online. Following SEO best practices will help your website achieve a higher ranking on search engine result pages, or SERPs. In short, the more you invest in SEO for your business, the more likely that it will show up on the first page of search results.
SEO is especially vital for local businesses seeking to attract nearby customers. For example, if someone searches on Google for “lawn care” in Dallas, Texas, a list of websites will pop up that contains some reference to the keyword. Google will find the most relevant and trustworthy sites that contain this search phrase. To compete with other lawn care companies in the area, you’ll need to publish plenty of relevant content on your website and social media platforms.
Producing quality content is only one part of a comprehensive SEO strategy. You'll also need to consider things like website design, mobile optimization, and including links to reliable sources.
5 Tips for Creating a Solid SEO Strategy
Developing an SEO strategy doesn’t need to be a struggle. Almost anyone can get started with it by grasping just a few of the basics. Here are five key tips for building a successful SEO strategy for your local business.
1. Spend Time on Keyword Research
In many ways, the success of your SEO strategy will depend on the keywords you deploy in your content. An easy way to find popular search phrases is to open a Google tab and begin typing a relevant keyword. For example, typing “Dallas lawn care” into Google will show several search suggestions like “Dallas lawn care companies” or “Dallas lawn care tips.”
You can also use Google Analytics to determine which keywords people are using to find your website. Google’s Keyword Planner is another useful tool that can recommend keywords based on the types of products or services you provide. Once you’ve built a list of popular search terms, you can begin working them into all your content.
2. Get More Backlinks to Your Site
Google grants more authority to websites that earn backlinks from other websites. To get more backlinks, you’ll need to provide plenty of well-researched, informative content on your web pages. This may include professional case studies, or research papers associated with your industry. The idea is that other related websites will cite your website to support their content, ultimately granting higher authority to your brand.
Just make sure you’re building backlinks from trustworthy sources. Earning backlinks from lower quality websites can harm your SEO ranking in the long term. If you discover backlinks from suspicious sources, you can easily disavow the links by notifying Google.
3. Always Use Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Writing relevant meta descriptions and meta titles for blogs or articles is vital for any SEO content strategy. Ideally, these meta tags should include popular search phrases you discovered earlier in step one. This metadata will help ensure that people know exactly what your business is about before they click on your website.
Metadata isn’t something solely reserved for written content. Remember to attach meta descriptions to your photos and videos as well. Doing this will improve the chances of Google correlating your website to search terms.
4. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
Many people use their mobile devices to search for a local business online. To attract these customers, you’ll need to ensure your website looks the same on any device. If you haven’t already, ensure your website supports responsive web design, or RWD, to improve accessibility. While most modern websites use RWD by default, some older websites may not display properly on a mobile device.
You can check this yourself by visiting your website on a cell phone or tablet. Look for any formatting issues like stretched out text or illegible navigation menus. Websites that aren't optimized for mobile may also take a long time to load. Problems like these can cause many customers to look elsewhere for help and could even harm your rankings on search engine result pages.
5. Leverage Data Analytics
Take advantage of analytics software to gauge the performance of your SEO strategy. Using Google Analytics or third-party software, dig into the details of your traffic sources, lead generation, and conversion rates. Studying this information will help you improve your content for greater engagement. If you notice your most recent blog post isn't performing as expected, analytics software will help you find out why.
Some Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid
Navigating search engine optimization is a learning process, and it’s easy to make a few mistakes in the beginning. Knowing about some of the pitfalls of building an SEO strategy can help you save time and money. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make and how to avoid them.
Not Investing in Quality Content
Consistently update your website with engaging and informative content. Think how-to articles, repair guides, or insightful blogs. Find reliable sources to back up your work and don’t forget to include inbound or outbound links where appropriate. If you need help, consider working with an experienced copywriter who understands your business.
Aside from written content, you can also explore starting a YouTube channel. Create a few explainer videos about your business and share them on social media. Or you can create a podcast that discusses industry trends or relevant local news.
Targeting the Wrong Keywords
Avoid vague or general search terms in your content. Using more specific long-tail keywords will give you a greater chance of earning the top ranking on SERPs. For example, the keyword “pet supplies” could point to any pet shop in the world, while “organic cat food near me” provides more relevant search results. Include a variety of these long-tail keywords throughout your landing pages and blog content to maximize your reach.
Overlooking Broken Links
Double-check the integrity of your internal and external links. Visitors to your site want to find the information they need quickly, and broken links slow things down. This can lead to prospective customers leaving your site a few moments after arriving.
In some cases, broken links are the result of simple typos or formatting issues. For broken external links, the URL may have moved or no longer exists. Either way, finding and addressing bad links is critical to any SEO strategy.
Forgetting About Localization
Remember to mention geographic data like your service areas and store locations. These local details may include specific counties and cities, or entire regions like west Texas. If your roofing company works across a tri-state area, mention specific communities in the contact section of your website. You’ll also want to include address information across all your engagement channels.
You can also improve your local SEO by updating your Google My Business page. If you haven’t already, create or claim a listing so your business shows up on local searches. Encourage customers to leave positive reviews and reply to any questions or comments from previous visitors.
Reusing the Same Content
It’s always best to create completely original content for every blog or landing page. Reusing the same wording may cause Google to flag your website for duplicate content, which can negatively impact your SEO. To avoid this problem, run your content through a plagiarism checker before publishing.
A good example of duplicate content is product descriptions. Since many e-commerce stores sell the same products, using stock descriptions can make it harder to stand out from competitors. This is why many e-commerce brands invest in producing high-quality, original product descriptions. While Google doesn’t directly penalize duplicate content, it does show a preference for unique results.
You Can Depend on Scorpion for Your SEO
Scorpion has the tools and resources to help you with building your SEO strategy. Our technology will assist you with everything from keyword research to generating insightful reports on major performance metrics. Meanwhile, you can rely on our experts for support with content marketing, website design, and social media engagement.
No matter what you need to reach your SEO goals, our team of marketing specialists will get you there. Visit Scorpion today to learn more about how we can help your business grow.