Do most of your customers live within a 5 mile radius? If so, here are your Top 3 search marketing priorities!

Every business is different, we get that. But there are a few SEO tactics (organic search engine marketing or “search” for those of us in the biz) that just plain work for most local businesses. Today we’ll focus on three “off-site” SEO tactics (not done on your website) for the hyper-local small business – where most of your customers live or work close by.

  • Make sure you’re listed on Google Maps!

Add, claim, verify and/or edit your Google My Business Listing. It is a powerful tool to help people find your product/service exactly when they need it. Make sure to fill out all the information requested, use your business@gmail.com account to sign into Google My Business, be consistent with your name, address, phone number formatting across the Internet (NAP – example: if you write out “First Street West” vs. “W. 1st St.”), add your logo and other informative images to help people “see” who you are and what you do.

  • Make sure your company is listed on Yelp.

Don’t pay for a listing…most companies don’t need to advertise on Yelp or YellowPages-like companies (although their reps will bug the piss out of you). Also consider other industry-specific search tools and review websites that makes sense for your company and the people you serve – like MINDBODY, Zomato, Urbanspoon, etc.

  • Create a plan to get positive online reviews.

As part of your customer relationship building efforts, you will want to make sure you ask for and encourage online reviews from your happy customers on Google and Yelp, with Google as the priority. This must be done regularly and frequently, as a consistent and ongoing effort. Start with a simple thank you email that includes a direct link to review your business. Don’t freak out if you get a bad review here and there…they only help to prove that your online reviews are credible and can be trusted. Just be sure to respond properly and go above and beyond to correct any less-than-perfect situation. If you need help responding, connect with an SEO agency (or your friendly neighborhood digital marketing consultant) for additional help.

Once your local business is listed on all the pertinent sites where your customers are most likely to find you, it’s time to start optimizing those listings for maximum performance. Try using Google Posts before your competitors get wind of it. Make sure you always ask customers how they found you, pay close attention and then double-down on those listings that are bringing you the most new business. SEO is not rocket science. You’ve got this!

SEO Best Practices = Get Good Online Reviews

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