You might know some SEO basics if you run or own a company. Maybe you know some simple concepts because you have a marketing or IT background.
If so, you can talk with your IT department or marketing team. You’ll understand when they tell you something about what they’re doing to update or upgrade your website.
Your company’s website must have ongoing or even constant optimization if you want market dominance. Your niche or industry probably has competition, and you must stay relevant if you want customer loyalty.
To that end, you must understand how general SEO and local SEO differ. They’re not the same thing, though they share some core fundamentals. We’ll discuss both right now.
What is SEO?
Before we get into local SEO services and best practices, let us make sure you understand the basic concept. SEO means search engine optimization. It means changing or adding website elements to stay at the top when someone utilizes a search engine like Google and looks for companies in your niche.
Your company must have ongoing website optimization to stay relevant. Even if you have a well-optimized site, it might not stay that way if you ignore it and do not change anything for months.
That’s why you should have a website developer or content creator who can continually update your site. A web developer will keep your website up to date and ensure website functionality, while a writer or content writing service will provide fresh, relevant, optimized content. If you don’t use these professionals, your website may not perform as well in search engine rankings over time. You may not see much improvement in your site’s rankings until you have a plan in place to optimize your website for search engines. In other words, neglecting to use web developers and content creators puts your website at risk of gradually sinking in the SERPs.
Basic or Fundamental SEO
Fundamental SEO involves certain concepts, and we’ll take a moment to list some before proceeding further. Keywords matter in SEO. You could argue they matter more than anything else.
If you run a hardware store, for example, you want your site at the top of the SERPs when someone types in something like “best hardware store.” Something like that should show up when you do some keyword or keyword phrase research. You should understand your site must rank for that term.
You also need original pictures and video content. Visual elements do well with the Google algorithm.
You want H1, H2, and H3 tags with keywords.
You’ll want an “About Us” section, a company blog, a contact form, and product or service pages. You can consider all those essential SEO elements. You should not neglect them, or you won’t get the site visitors and conversions you want.
In many ways, you have a different animal on your hands when you introduce local SEO. It certainly matters, though, especially if you have a smaller business entity with few brick-and-mortar locations.
Let’s say you have a hardware store again, but this time, you want your site optimized for local SEO. This time, a keyword phrase like “best hardware store” won’t do. You’re on the right track, but you’re not specific enough.
You need a keyword phrase like “best hardware store in Kenosha” or wherever you have your brick-and-mortar store locations. That’s local SEO. You’re optimizing not just with your niche or industry in mind but also your geographic location.
You might also have images and videos on your site, but you will have some local influences there as well. You may have some workers posed with your store in the background. You might have some pictures showing local landmarks.
The Google algorithm might not recognize those images, but you can use local SEO keywords when describing them. The image title might say “Fountain Square in Cincinnati” or something along those lines. Again, you’re setting up and utilizing a local SEO strategy rather than a general one.
What Are Some Other Examples?
When you write blogs that you feature on your site, you might mention local events. If you have a booth at a street fair, you can mention it by name.
You may mention a local politician who likes your brand or company and bought something from you before. You can mention local landmarks, streets, or anything else that lets the Google web crawlers know where you’re located and that your site has a specific geographic connection.
How Can You Optimize Your Site for Local SEO?
If you understand this general concept, you can often optimize your website for local SEO with little difficulty. You can do so by using a website optimization tool you set for local SEO rather than the more general version we described earlier.
You don’t need your website optimized for national exposure or international sales if you serve a specific area. In some ways, optimizing with less ambitious goals in mind makes your job easier. You won’t have that much competition. If you deliver all over the country or the world, you have nearly infinitely more competitors.
You should still not leave anything up to change. You must use the latest local SEO tools to help you generate the most relevant keywords. That’s how you bring in customers through organic search.
These tools can also suggest other strategies besides those we’ve mentioned. The techniques keep
updating since the Google algorithm keeps changing.
Hire Someone Who Knows Local SEO
You can hire someone who knows local and general SEO tactics. You can have them on the payroll working for you full-time if you have the money. If you have a larger company, this becomes more viable.
If you still have a small or medium-sized company, hiring a freelancer or an SEO agency makes more sense. They can do the work for you, but you won’t give them healthcare, a 401k plan, and everything else you might provide a full-time employee.
If you become more successful and your website keeps expanding, you may need someone doing your local SEO full-time. At that point, you’ll know you’ve reached a milestone moment in your company’s fortunes. You might now expand into surrounding cities or states if you’re not quite ready for national exposure.
Local SEO can help you immensely, so utilize it when you want your website to bring in new clients or customers.