The Local Marketing Stack

SEO

Zone 3 • Difficulty: • Free Options Available

In the late ’00s, SEO was the low-cost, high-return marketing option for the overwhelming majority of small businesses. But with Google’s move monetize more and more search results with paid ads, as well as the kinds of results Google now prefers to show, the number of small businesses who will get a steady stream of customers from SEO will decline over time.

Nonetheless, diminishing returns don’t mean no returns, and there are a number of straightforward, low-cost techniques that can improve your search engine presence fairly quickly–many of which are represented elsewhere in the Marketing Stack.

  • Use keywords in your Title Tags
    Title Tags are not always obvious when you’re viewing a webpage, but they’re the most important on-page attribute for SEO. You can see what your existing Title Tags are by performing a “site:” search like this one at Google. The blue links on that search result are your Title Tags.
  • Implement User Experience (UX) best practices
    Good UX is good SEO. Just like users, search engines like responsive fast-loading websites, clear navigation, and obvious contact information.
  • Claim your local profiles
    Presenting consistent, accurate contact information for your business across major local search engines and directories gives Google more confidence they’re directing searchers to a real business, and this confidence can lead to higher rankings.
  • Get customers to review you
    Get a process in place to ask for customer feedback, if you don’t have one already. Especially for businesses in the food and beverage, personal care, or hospitality industries, reviews have become “table stakes” for local rankings.
  • Be involved in your community
    “Votes,” or backlinks, from websites of community organizations you’re involved in (such as charities and chambers of commerce), and stories about your business in local newspapers and blogs, are a strong influence on your search engine rankings.

 

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