As a business in a local market, your end-goal is to become more prominent in the local search results and build your presence on Google, Bing, and other popular search engines. According to Podium, prominence “refers to things like how well-known your business is in the offline world and the amount of information there is about your business across the web in the form of links back to your site and online business reviews.”
As you rank higher for local search results, your website will receive a steady stream of traffic. This grows your leads and sales and makes day-to-day life easier for a business owner. It takes the stress of prospecting and acquiring customers off your shoulders and ensures that your business never has to struggle to be recognized in your industry. Traffic and customers will come to you, rather than you having to seek them out with a daily hustle and grind, or through the efforts of your sales team. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make your business more prominent online and expand your exposure by getting better rankings in local search results.
Build a base of links to your site with domain/brand anchor text
Before you start an aggressive link building campaign (links are a big part of SEO) you need to build a base layer of links. With these links, it’s important to use domain and brand anchor text. Anchor text is the keywords that are used for the hyperlink. Search engines evaluate anchor text to determine your search engine rankings. By building links with domain/brand anchor text, such as “yourdomain.com” and “Your Brand,” you build a base layer of genuine and authentic links that appear natural in every way. This way, when you start to acquire links with keyword rich anchor text, it doesn’t set off any red flags or alerts at the Google Headquarters, prompting them to evaluate your backlink profile and potentially induce an unnatural link building penalty. Here’s an up-to-date anchor text guide that can help you better understand the importance behind this.
Use local business listings, social media, and more for these links
Now that you know how to build these links, you need to know where to build them. The best places to target are local business listings and social media networks. These are high authority sites that are seen as natural places for your backlink profile to start in the eyes of search engines.
Local business listings also build your NAP consistency. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and it’s a rank factor in the local search results. The more local citations your business has, essentially verifying your name, address, and phone number and building your NAP consistency, the more trustworthy your brand is. Social media and local business listings will provide plenty of opportunities for backlinks.
Guest post on relevant sites with authority
Guest posting is where you write a high-quality article, and you publish it on another blog in your industry. You should target relevant sites with authority and real traffic for your guest posts. You can reach out through their contact form or by contacting an individual at the company directly through email. There are dozens of outreach and prospecting tools that can help you do this, including cold email tools to make the actual mail sending a little less tedious. Guest posting can be a rather extensive process, use a guest blog guide to get familiar with it. This will help you better understand its importance, how to write quality content, and how to pitch that content to website owners.
Create videos and infographics to make your business stand out
You need quality assets, and some of the best assets for a local business are things that your competitors don’t have: content marketing resources. Local businesses rarely compete in the content marketing landscape. They are not looking to drive international traffic and rarely are they even interested in national traffic. For that reason, they have little incentive to create really good graphics or videos. Their reach only extends to their local market. Content’s reach is usually well beyond that. However, this also makes content marketing and the creation of videos and infographics a great way to enhance your local search results. In doing so, you will provide better media and a richer experience on your website than any local competitor is offering.
Get reviews on Yelp and your Google Business Listing
In local markets, reviews are everything. People want to buy from and work with a company that is trusted. Don’t pay someone for a review, but reach out to your existing customers and see if they might take a few seconds to write something up on Yelp or your Google Business Listing. A good way to encourage reviews going forward is to offer some type of incentive. You can give away something such as a coupon in exchange for a review. Once you’ve tapped out Yelp and Google, extend your reach to other business listings to gain exposure.
To make your business more prominent in local search results, you have to apply some of the same SEO techniques that are concerned standard throughout the industry. Often times, ranking for local markets is similar to ranking for global keywords. Stick to the basics and apply good on-page SEO practices combined with quality backlinks.