For most businesses and organizations, being found in local search is the priority. So local optimization and authority building is the key to having a strong local online presence. Here’s the ‘wide view’ on how to do it.
Optimize and manage your Google My Business, Bing Local and Yelp listings. While there are gazillion directories out there, these are the three that matter most and what you do on there will sooner or later affect others.
Take advantage of free listings in vertical directories. Vertical directories list providers of services or products in specific industries. For example, Healthcare vertical directories tend to dominate the first page of searches for a specific kind of doctor. So doctors need to be included in those. The same is true of private schools, lawyers, and many other kinds of businesses.
Be creative and holistic in building local links to your website. On the larger World Wide Web links only have significant value when they come from websites related to your industry. BUT, that rule does not apply locally. Here are some ways to get those links.
- Have your business or organization volunteer or serve in non-profits. Those who do are typically recognized for doing good. And you should do it anyway.
- If you sponsor non-profit, school, church or youth group events they will likely recognize your company with a link to your website from theirs. Ask to provide the ‘blurb’ they use for that recognition.
- Write articles and submit them to local papers and magazines. To be regarded as an authority on a subject is a really big deal in SEO. So when a paper, trade paper or magazine pick up something you have written, and link to your website that will improve visibility locally and even broader.
- Earn links by being the best at what you do. When a company is really good at what they do, other people talk about it online and usually link.
- Get reviews on Google especially and others. This relates to the My Business listing, but goes a step farther. Ask satisfied customers to review your business on Google or other channels.