Up to 98% of people used the internet to find information about a local business in 2022, according to BrightLocal research. And 87% of consumers used Google to evaluate a local business.
For local businesses with limited time, money and resources, it can be hard to know where to focus marketing efforts.
One thing is for sure: The ability for people to find local businesses online is critical.
And SEO is one of the most effective marketing activities for a local business to show up online, as it offers some of the best returns on investment in the long term.
Given that local businesses may have a limited budget, which SEO factors should they focus on?
Here, I’ll outline six areas that small businesses can reasonably do on their own (or spend a little money on outside help for the techie stuff) and, at the very least, get the SEO foundations in place.
What are those foundations?
For local businesses to rank in the search results, they need to consider the following areas:
Local businesses need to focus on optimizing two areas of the search results:
When ranking local businesses in the local pack, Google takes into account relevance, distance and prominence.
And there is another set of countless signals it uses for the organic listings, including the “blue links.”
While the following is not an exhaustive list, it has some essential SEO tactics to do at a bare minimum for helping local business rank.
Here are three of the most impactful optimization techniques for a Business Profile:
A local business’s ratings and reviews can impact how well it ranks, including how many reviews (text-based and numerical star ratings) and the actual scores. This is straight from Google’s mouth. So take reviews and ratings seriously.
Here are some tips:
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
Quality content is probably one of – if not the most important – on-page ranking factor in most cases.
There are a lot of ways to define quality, but here are some ways to ensure it on a site:
And remember, if you are using AI content for a website, you must have a system in place to have it reviewed and edited by a human to ensure quality.
For more, see my article on Search Engine Land: ChatGPT and SEO content: Where do we go from here?
SEO siloing is a technique I invented more than 20 years ago. It structures a website's content by grouping related webpages in hierarchical categories through its directory and links.
In other words, how you set up directories and navigation on a website matters.
Siloing streamlines the internal linking system to connect like-pages and helps the search engines discover more related content to better understand what the site is about.
It also helps users navigate with ease to find the information they need.
Remember that sometimes Google takes into account the whole website and not just a single webpage when determining which sites to rank:
“The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the website owner thinks is important. Although Google's search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site.”
Practically, for a local business's website, the site would most likely be organized by things like:
For example: When a business has more than one location, create one or more pages dedicated to each location the business is in.
An example would be the siloing strategy for a keyword like “engineering firm.”
You'd create a section for locations by having a landing page for that term linked to from the top navigation. Then you'd add subpages underneath it that detail each location and the services it provides.
This would apply to every location of a business. Avoid duplicate content issues by making each location section unique.
There are countless ways to optimize a site, but for local businesses that are just getting started, here are a handful of things they can and should do to boost SEO:
The last two bullets may be areas where a local business spends a little money for expert help.
Local businesses must have quality, local links to show they are a trusted local business. Here are some ideas for earning links:
Countless SEO tactics can help local websites rank in the search results. However, there are a handful of methods where local businesses can get the most bang for their buck, whether implementing them on their own or spending some marketing budget to hire outside expertise.
Focus on the local SEO hierarchy of needs, and get the right SEO foundations in place for a chance to compete.
The post The SEO hierarchy of needs for local businesses on a budget appeared first on Search Engine Land.
from Search Engine Land https://searchengineland.com/local-seo-hierarchy-needs-396019
via free Seo Tools