13 SEO Tips For Local Small Businesses

13 SEO Tips For Local Small Businesses

December 6, 2021
(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Building brand awareness and exposure is critical for small businesses. Your business may not be able to bring in more prospects if they don't know you exist. Search engine optimization (SEO) is part of a strong foundation for local small business success and is one of the most effective methods for increasing the visibility of your small business.

When your prospects are searching for a product or service on Google, you need to be visible to them. That’s where local small business SEO can help you. In layman's terms, it is a tactic that can help your website appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

13 SEO Tips For Small Businesses

In the past, I have gone in-depth on On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, and Technical SEO. Let's quickly recap what they are.  

On-page SEO covers everything you do on your website to improve its competitiveness on SERPs. Because you own the website, you have total control over on-page SEO elements.

Off-page SEO is all about creating backlinks and boosting your SERP ranking externally. Simply put, link building is the process of increasing the number of incoming links to your website. Google highly prizes backlinks since they help crawlers identify your website and reflect the content's credibility.

Technical SEO is all about your website's structure. It helps you satisfy standards that allow search engines to scan your site and better navigate your content.

Local SEO is the art of optimizing your website for a specific local area. If you own a local business, you want to rank for local search queries. Optimizing your local small business website ensures you are found both online and offline. 

Technical SEO

Create a Sitemap and Submit It to Google

There are numerous ways from plugins to online websites to help you generate a sitemap to help you generate a sitemap. Once you have your sitemap generated you can submit it to Google using Google Search Console. The Google Search Console is a free Google tool you can use to manage ad monitor your position in Google Search Results.

Eliminate Inactive Pages

If your site has a large number of non-trafficked pages, your rankings may suffer. Best to prune or remove these pages unless they have some sort of value.

Repair Any Broken or Outdated Links

The web spiders and SERP robots will demote your content if you are consistently sending users to outdated or broken links.

Optimize Your Images and Alternate Text

This is a two-parter, as you want to optimize your images to look good but also balance download size. You also need to be aware of the overall size of your images and not use a 1920 x 1080 px image when you only need it to be 800 x 450 pixels.

Image alternative text or alt text was initially designed to help describe the image. You should always use this to your advantage, balancing description for both ADA purposes and information that explains the page’s topical relevance. In other words, you will want to use your target keyword(s) or a secondary keyword(s) in describing the image.

If you want to go a little deeper on the subject, check out this article on Search Engine Watch about How to optimize images for SEO

Use a Clear URL Structure

Users and search engines should be able to guess the topic of a page based just on its URL.

Build mobile-friendly website

Creating websites with a mobile focus is vital and should be done at the onset and not shoehorned with plugins. 

Boost Your Page Loading Speed

Google has said for years that website page loading speed is a significant factor for SEO. In 2018 they even added it as part of the landing page factors

Clean up Your Meta Tags

Meta tags are simply descriptions of your content and are supported by all content management systems. Search crawlers utilize these tags to ensure that the description of your site matches the content on the page. By including relevant keywords and descriptions in your meta tags, you ensure that crawlers understand the purpose of your page.

Optimize On-page SEO

Optimize Page Titles and Headlines 

Your page title has a significant impact on your click-through rate, which is critical in how the Search Engines determine how to rank the page on the SERPs. The percentage of users who see your headline and then click on it is referred to as the click-through rate. You want something memorable that is roughly 60 characters long so that it’s not chopped off. If your title is too long, the search engines will put an ellipsis at the end of the character limit, leaving the reader to wonder what your content is about. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Use Proper Header Tags 

You will want to use headers to break up sections of your page or blog post. These headers can be and should be optimized to contain relevant keywords. By making your site digestible and clear for your readers, you will boost those ever-important time-on-site metrics.

Use Internal Linking to Optimize Your Site

Getting people to visit your website isn't enough. As a local small business, your goal should be to captivate your visitors so that they stay on your pages longer. Encourage them to read more of your material or look at more of your items by using internal linking strategies. 

Effective internal linking involves connecting topics and concepts in a more logical manner for both users and search engines. 

If you want to learn more about internal linking, check out the article “Internal Linking for SEO: Examples and Best Practices” from Search Engine Watch.

Local SEO 

An effective local SEO strategy incorporates the aforementioned approaches but with a specific emphasis on your nearby surroundings. Consider local blog entries, links from major local publications, and Google reviews from local consumers. Let’s look at some specific things you should consider for your Local SEO Strategy.

Set up a Google My Business Account and Optimize the Listing

Your Google My Business Listing or GMB is a critical part of any Local SEO Strategy. It's completely free and will allow you to appear in local search results for queries related to your business. You have to make sure you enter all of your company's information as even broad inquiries with large volumes are now returning local results, which small business owners like you can take advantage of.

Encourage reviews

For years now, my child has often come up to me wanting some new toy, app, or game and is always quick to point out the reviews.

Reviews not only help to drive conversions, but according to a study by Search Engine Journal, they are among the most prominent Local SEO ranking factors.

If you want help harnessing the power of review management & automating review requests, we can help!

Conclusion

As a small business owner, people must know about your products and services. Your prospects should be able to find you easily! However, with so many other choices, talks, and sales to make, SEO might feel like something local small business owners can put off. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the further you will fall in search results, the less organic traffic you will have, the fewer leads, and ultimately your revenue will dwindle. Start now with these actionable tasks to ensure that potential clients can discover you online. However, if you find yourself needing help, reach out to us, we will be happy to help!

Chad Treadway

Written by:  |  December 6, 2021

Chad is our business development manager. He will help you survey your business needs, ensuring you are educated on your options before suggesting any solution. Chad also has several certifications through HubSpot to better assist you with your internet and inbound marketing.

See Chad Treadway's' bio: cubecreative.design/about/chad-treadway