It’s no secret that consumers spend more over the holidays. This means there’s never been a better time to invest in improving your local SEO. Not only will local online marketing help you reach more locals, if you live in any of the southern states, it could also help people who are visiting over the winter to find your business. Ranking high in relevant local searches is a great way of gaining new customers. After all, you’re marketing to an audience that was already interested in your product or service before discovering you online.
Why Local SEO Matters
If you live in a large metropolitan area, you can’t assume you’ll get page one Google rankings for local searches relevant to your industry. On the contrary, depending on how crowded the market you serve is, you might not even rank in the top three or four pages of search results.
Even though you might think having a website and an online presence is enough to get you in Google’s top spots, most of your competition probably also has what you’ve got in terms of an online presence. In fact, many of your competitors might even be doing much more to market themselves online than you.
Getting online isn’t the same as putting up a poster in a public place. The benefit of online marketing is that it isn’t restricted in terms of location, so your target audience could find you in a search while they’re on vacation anywhere on Earth. The downside is that just because you put in the effort to get online, doesn’t necessarily mean anyone will find you.
Getting listed in Google searches is more complicated than most people realize. In order for Google results to be accurate and trustworthy, there are many metrics that make getting listed in local searches rather complex.
Things that Improve Your Local SEO
Google is reasonably secretive about the exact metrics that are used when ranking search results. This is mainly to avoid dishonest practice, where someone can “hack” the SEO metrics to show up in completely unrelated searches. Not only would that negatively affect the reliability of search results, this kind of “hacking” practice has been used to lead traffic to spam, or even illegal web pages in the past.
The good news is that Google doesn’t hide all their search metrics from the public. In more recent years, they’ve worked to improve the reliability of searches in ways that are harder to dishonestly take advantage of. The simple truth is that Google wants to know you’re a real business. But Google doesn’t have a real, discerning brain, or a gut feeling to decide whether or not web pages are trustworthy. Because of this, artificial intelligence is the only way to help search engines tell the bad apples from to good ones.
There are a few things Google uses to tell whether or not businesses are real (and how much industry authority they have) when ranking them in local search results:
- Social media consistency and engagement.
- The clickthrough rate on your business website.
- Your geographic location compared to the search you’re trying to rank for.
- The quantity and estimated accuracy of your online reviews.
- The keywords that are present in your content as well as on your main website pages.
- Inbound and outbound link authority.
- Your Google My Business information.
The above list only touches on a few things Google will consider when ranking your website, so it’s clear that as many metrics as possible are used to list only the most relevant, trustworthy search results. Improving your local SEO would take a lot of work.
Even though Google’s search engine metric updates are often dreadfully anticipated by businesses, the truth is that Google isn’t trying to work against you. Actually the updates are meant to keep search results relevant, which means that the efficacy of your local SEO depends largely on Google listing your business over one that isn’t local. If you give Google the right things to work with, you should benefit from the search metrics. The problem is that most small to medium sized businesses simply don’t have the capacity to work on their SEO and keeping regular business going.
Harness the Power of SEO
From what’s known about Google’s metrics, it’s clear that those who focus on improving their SEO will be rewarded. Keeping your social media up to date, having your own blog and building good links are all things you can do to improve your SEO. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts. Only businesses that take time and put in the necessarily work will reap the rewards. That’s why your SEO strategy should focus on more than just being online.
But where do local businesses start? SEO tactics can take years to learn, and even longer to master. Even once you know how to optimize your website for search engines, keeping your blog and social media up to date while consistently building quality links is enough to keep a full-time employee busy. Most small businesses can’t afford to pay a full-time employee to take care of their online marketing.
To get ahead of the pack and improve your Nashville listings, the easiest, most affordable option is to hire SEO specialists to help you manage your online presence. You’ll definitely save yourself hours of trial and error, or the cost of hiring a knowledgeable in-house SEO specialist to work in your business full-time.
Business owners have to wear many hats. Taking on yet another one for your business – the online marketer hat – is too much for most business owners to manage. With SEO specialists guiding you through your Internet marketing, you won’t have to worry about the technicalities of running a successful marketing strategy.