If you are a local business owner, then surely you want to do whatever you can to boost your presence in the community. No matter what type of business you own, the fact remains that more local prominence means more sales, which is ideal for your bottom line. However, establishing yourself within the local community is not always easy. Fortunately, there are some link building and SEO tips you can keep in mind as a way of making your business more easily searchable, which can lead to greater success for you in the long run.
Get Involved on Local Blogs
More than likely, there are some small niche blogs that people in your community run that are related to the service or goods that you provide. For example, if you run a small shop that sells craft supplies, then surely there are some local people who love to blog about arts and crafts projects. This is a great opportunity for you as a business owner to start some productive conversations with people in the community. By finding these blogs and commenting on them, you can boost your SEO while potentially gaining new customers in the process. Just be careful, when commenting on these blogs, not to make your comments sound like an obvious promotion for your company. Instead, make some casual conversation about the topic at hand to establish a real dialogue before even thinking about mentioning your company.
Build Your Own Blog
Of course, in order to comment on other business’ and individuals’ blogs, you will need to have a blog for yourself that you use to represent your company. Fortunately, there are all kinds of free blogging websites out there today that make starting your own blog easier than ever. WordPress and Bloggr are just a couple to consider, but you will want to use a platform that is popular among your clientele. This way, you will be in the best position to communicate with them easily through blog comments and posts.
Many business owners, however, do not have the time to write blog posts every day. Therefore, it may instead be necessary to hire an SEO blog writer who will be able to keep the blog up-to-date. After all, if a potential customer sees that your company has a blog but that it has not been updated in several months, then he or she is not very likely to want to check out your store. People like to see business blogs that are consistently updated so that they can tell the business is truly invested in their lines of work.
What should blog posts contain? Ideally, blog posts will not be overly promotional of the company itself but will instead be more informative and general in nature. For example, going back to the arts and craft shop mentioned above, an ideal blog would cover fun arts and crafts projects to take on, discussions of different materials, and trends in the industry. To optimize the blog posts for SEO purposes, specific keywords can be included within the blog, such as “arts and crafts” plus the name of the city where the store is located; by doing this, and by linking these keywords to actual pages on the company website, business owners can boost their rankings on the search engine results when these keywords are searched for. This is known as back linking or link building, which are known to be effective SEO strategies.
Market the Blog
Aside from having a blog and keeping it updated, it is also important to market it so that people will visit it and comment on it. This will further increase the business website’s search engine results for back links. Of course, when marketing a blog, it is important to be careful not to make it too obvious that you are promoting it. Spamming the URL for the blog onto another person’s website or social media page is not only discouraged, but can come across as downright rude. Instead, find subtle ways to promote your blog, such as through guest posting on another relevant blog and offering a guest post in return. This is a great way to build visitors to your blog while gaining respect in the community as well.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Another great way to go about boosting your SEO as a local business is to start your own social media page. These days, major social media sites like Twitter and Facebook allow businesses to create their own free pages. Much like the blog, you social media page will serve as an outlet by which you can communicate with others in the local community and beyond.
When creating a social media page, there are many things that you will want to include in order to better market your business locally. Of course, the name of your business and a short description of the services or products that you offer is important. However, you will also want to include your location so that people who live nearby can come and check out your business without getting lost.
Just as it is important to keep up with your blog, it is important to constantly update your business’ social media page as well. The good thing about running a social media page, however, is that it is much easier to keep updated than a blog. You can post all kinds of updates throughout the day rather than having to take on the daunting task of writing a several hundred word blog post. Furthermore, you can have more fun with a social media page by holding contests and special promotions. This is a great way to gain more local recognition among the community, especially as your page is seen by others who live nearby and have social media accounts. For example, on Facebook, if somebody “likes” your page, this can be seen by all of that person’s friends. From there, the friends may become interested in what this business is that their friend “liked,” and they may decide to “like” the page, too.
Finally, a social media page allows you to upload photos of your products, services, employees, and more. This helps to create a more personal connection between you and your customers or potential customers. The main thing to remember when running a social media page for your business for local SEO purposes is to have fun with it; this will keep people coming back to check the page and therefore make your business more popular and widely known in the long run.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many steps you can take to boost your link building and SEO for a small local business. While it may take some time, effort, and planning, these skills are known to pay off in the end. If all else fails and this seems like too much to take on on your own, then you may even consider hiring an SEO marketing company to do the work for you. From there, you can enjoy reaping the benefits of better SEO and link building without having to do the difficult work yourself.
Timothy Carter is the CRO for AudienceBloom. Since 1997 he's been helping businesses maximize their sales revenue from websites via content marketing, SEO and Internet Marketing strategies. Over the years he's written for publications like Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.