SEO for Local Business Essentials!
If you are a local Canadian business, there are a few business essentials you’ll want to take care of for the online world:
- Google Maps profile
- Active social media
Let’s talk a bit about each of these for your local business.
Your website ~
Let’s assume that you run a carpet repair business out of Toronto. You want to make sure you are available when someone is searching online. With a website that is SEO friendly, you will be able to show up on all the major search engines, and as potential customers are searching for your services, you will have put yourself out there. It’s then up to your website to convert those visitors to leads. If you need help with your local online marketing, there is lots of help out there. I’m going to assume that if you are here, you likely know SEO, so let’s move on to maps.
Your Google maps profile ~
It’s likely that if your business has been around for any amount of time, that you probably have a local maps profile on Google. There are lots of things you can do to optimize your listing so that you can also show up in local searches. Keep in mind that local searches are becoming much more prevalent with smart phones, so you should definitely take advantage.
Here is an example of a local listing on Google:
Here are some tips to get your local listings rocking:
- Claim your listing! When you claim your listing, you are protecting yourself from your listing getting hijacked later, and also verifying to Google that your information is accurate. They will be much more confident to show you as a result if they are confident that someone will answer when the number is called.
- Categorize properly. Even if you have your keyword in your company name (ie. Toronto Carpet Repair Company), if you don’t properly categorize it, the search engines may never know what you actually do. Take the time and pick (or create) the proper categories.
- Get your customers to leave reviews. The more active a profile is, the more popular your business will be perceived. Since search engines love popularity, you’ll reap benefits. Consider asking some of your customers to leave you a review.
- Get people talking about you. Again, it’s the popularity thing. The more times your business is listed online (these are called citations), the more popular your business will be in the eyes of the search engines.
Social media ~
For your business, consider whether a Facebook fan page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, or any other social media profile will work best for your business. If you offer freebies, giveaways, and coupons, Facebook and Twitter would both be fantastic. Consider the promotions and amount of communication you are willing to put out, and weigh the profiles accordingly.
The more you are available and in front of your potential customers, and the more of a relationship you have built up with them, the better the chances that they will give you their business.
Consider pay-per-click advertising management services to get your business on the paid side of the search engines when your terms get searched. If you show up on the organic portion of the search, in the local listings, AND in the paid portion when someone types ‘Toronto carpet repair’, there is a synergy and a perceived boost to your potential clients. If they perceive you are well established and trusted, they will be more likely to give you their business.
A.J. Wilcox has been in love with Internet marketing for over 3 years. He currently oversees 400+ accounts as the SEO team lead at OrangeSoda.com. He loves cars and running, and staying up on the latest SEO news…and he KNOWS SEO, eh!