You’ve poured over the blog posts, listened to the podcasts and maybe you’ve even purchased a course or two and you’ve heard it over and over. Content is necessary in order to rank in the search engines. But what if you hate blogging and podcasting. Well you’re in luck because here are 8 local SEO how to’s that don’t require you to continuously crank out content creation in order to rank in the search engines.
1. Build a community. The best way to grow your business is by bringing people together. And, there are plenty of ways you can do this, such as using social media or building communities for customers on online forums or even Facebook Neighbourhoods. Don’t be sales-y if you plan to do this. Focus on value first and on building relationships. Recommend other businesses in your community and people will naturally want to learn more about you. It’s a great way to build that know, like, trust factor which will over time, lead to more sales.
2. Choose a keyword specific domain. A great way to get found in the search engines is by choosing a domain name that reflects your product or service and location. So, if you own a coffee shop in Vancouver for example, see if you can register a domain name like, “vancouvercoffeeshop.com”. The downside however is that it’s kind of boring and generic. So if you can jazz it up a little bit and choose a name like “vancouvercoffeeroasters.com” or “vancouvercoffeehouse.com”, you’ve still got the city and product in your domain name and with a little bit of work, you’ll be able rank in the search engines without cranking out a bunch of content.
3. Create a mobile friendly website. Website building has become easier than ever with web-builders such as Wix and Squarespace. Many well established local businesses haven’t updated their websites in years and so if you launch an up-to-date attractive looking website, you’ll win customers. Just make sure that you have a responsive design so that it works on all devices. But, don’t forget to use your keywords and your address in your website copy.
4. On-page SEO. In order to rank well in the search engines, it’s important to optimize your website by including your main keyword(s) and location(s) on each of your pages. Include this information in the page title, url and the H1 tag of each page. You should also fill out the meta description with your keyword(s) and location(s).
5. Improve website loading time. Unfortunately, many website owners fail to address the issue of website load speed. If a website takes too long to load, users will click away and this has an adverse effect on SEO. You can use a tool like GT Metrix to check your speed and make any necessary corrections such as compressing images.
6. Set Up Google My Business. Google My Business (GMB) is an important tool for local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it allows you to verify your business and get more visibility for your website. Follow the steps and fill out each and every applicable section. List all the products and services you offer, include your keywords, locations and full address. Don’t forget to include images in your GMB profile as well.
7. Build citations. Citations are important for local SEO. Citations are mentions of your business across all the various online directories such as YellowPages.ca. They help to boost your website’s visibility and at minimum, you should aim to build at least 15 of them on the main directories. But make sure you are consistent with your business name, address and phone number (NAP) across all the listings otherwise the search engines will get confused if they are reading different address layouts such as “St” on one listing and “Street” on another.
8. Collect reviews from customers. Make it easy for customers to review your products and services on your GMB profile. Reviews help build trust in your business and in the search engines. You’ll rank higher and see more traffic for your business. Ask your customers to give you a Google review whenever they compliment your service and, you can include a link to your GMB profile in your email signature.
When you focus on these key local SEO techniques, you will be able to make some great headway with ranking in the search engines without having to crank out a bunch of content.