How to Win at Local SEO

Google wants to provide the most relevant results when you search for something. Usually the most relevant result is a local one. Someone searching for a bakery in Minneapolis isn't well served by a result for a bakery in Seattle, no matter how cool the Seattle bakery happens to be.

This works to your advantage since it's much easier to promote your business locally instead of globally, and building solid local SEO can be a great foundation to building a more global SEO presence.

Here are the best ways to build your local SEO presence.

Local Contact Info

The most basic thing you can (and should) do is enter you name, address, and phone number on your site in at least two places: right at the top of your Contact Page and in the footer of your site. This makes it easy for Google to associate the site with your area and neighborhood.

Take this one step further by including a google map displaying your location in the same spots on your site. No one is a bigger fan of Google than Google. It can't hurt your ranking to use some of their services on your site.

Beyond adding your address and phone number to your site, you should also include detailed About and FAQ pages:

Detailed About and FAQ Pages

Both of these pages are a great opportunity to tell your story, further tying you to your local area. If you grew up locally then mention where you went to school, the neighborhood you grew up in, some of your family history. Talk about the history of the neighborhood your business is in. Why you live and work there. Use acronyms and nicknames for the neighborhood, not just the official name. Much like it's easier to compete at a city level than a national one, it's even easier to compete at a neighborhood level versus an entire city.

Beyond just superficially tying you to your city or state, these pages also give visitors more of a reason to trust and like you. Who doesn't trust a local business more than they do a large or otherwise faceless corporation? Trust is a huge part of how Google determines their rankings, which is why it's also a good idea to ensure customers can provide testimonials and reviews.

Testimonials and Reviews

Real people talking about your business is a good deal more valuable than just you talking about it. You should put testimonials and reviews up for your business and even individual products/services.

Couldn't you just make testimonials up, though? You could! Which is why Google is a big fan of testimonials and reviews from third-party services like Yelp, Facebook, and Google's very own Google My Business. You can include reviews from these services on your own site using third party Weebly apps like Social Review and Five Star Ratings.

What if you get a bad review?

It can be very frustrating for some jerk to give you two stars while writing up a bunch of nonsense about your business. Every business large and small receives bad reviews though, and you shouldn't take it personally if someone gives you a negative review. The best thing you can do is make a habit of responding to all of your reviews and offer to make things better for the negative reviewers (definitely don't call them a "jerk" or refer to their review as "nonsense"). Even if they don't change their review, other people will see your response and likely appreciate that you're engaged.

Using these third-party review sites is valuable beyond just the reviews, too:

Third-Party Listing Sites

Every legitimate third-party listing site is further verifying that your business is real and located where you say it's located. This gives you a big leg up over any local business that isn't using every third-party listing site they can.

There are plenty of sites beyond the aforementioned (and important) Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business like MerchantCircle, the Yellow Pages and Angie's List. The sign-up process for all of these services is straightforward and you can get moving with all of them in an afternoon. Take full advantage of their features: include photos from your business, ensure all of your business hours are listed and confirm your address matches the one on your site. Doing this gives you more value with Google and the other search engines. You can also use a tool like Site Booster to streamline the process.

Follow these suggestions and you should soon find yourself winning at local SEO, showing up in lots of results in searches for your area.