Many business owners shy away from spending the time doing local SEO on their company. Local SEO is a very complicated and sometimes intimidating skill. Are all your title tags and alt text optimized for each page? Are you using the correct header tags? Are there any large files slowing down the speed of your site?
It may seem overwhelming, but the only way to build the skill is to get started. Even better, start with 5 hours and see how it affects your rankings.
Here are a few local SEO techniques you can do within 5 hours in order to get your site on the right track:
Local SEO Tip # 1: Google MyBusiness
Setting up your Google MyBusiness is a very easy process – and that’s a good thing, since it is absolutely essential for local SEO. In just a few steps, you can be on your way to getting listed in the snack pack.
When setting up your MyBusiness page, make sure to fill out as much information as possible. Add pictures, all locations, hours, etc. The most important part of setting up the page is to verify your locations. Too many companies skip this step, which is detrimental if you are trying to get listed on the snack pack. Just remember:
the more information you put into Google MyBusiness, the better.
Pro Tip: Review your listing every month or so to check for incorrect information. Some blackhat SEO companies will edit your listing and replace your website with a link to their affiliate link. Yeah… I know.
Local SEO Tip # 2: Schema Markup
Many non-SEO types are not aware of what schema markup is. While there are complexities, the idea is that schema markup is a way for you to make information about your business (address, reviews, employees, etc.) readily available for search engines. This, in turn, will help the search engines deliver top notch results about your company.
How do you get started with schema markup? Visit Schema.org. Schema.org is a collaborative effort by all the largest search engines to standardize structured markup. Take a look at the list of schema data types, and see which are applicable to your site. If you are familiar with structure markup, see the schema documentation and implement the changes yourself. If not, talk to your developer and have them implement the changes. The benefits of increased SEO will be worth the time it takes the developer to implement the changes.
Local SEO Tip # 3: Speed Optimization
The speed of your website is a critical aspect of SEO and can be a big ranking factor. I have seen many companies increase entire pages worth of rankings simply by increasing the speed of their site. This can be one of the most efficient ways to help your local SEO.
Not only will increasing speed help SEO, but it will also improve your user experience. After all, nobody likes a slow site.
The first step is to test the speed of your site. The best way to do this is to run it through a speed test like Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Simply input your site URL into the text box and click analyze. After a few seconds, you will have your results. Send the results to your developer and have them take a look at the factors that are slowing down your site.
Here are a few common ways to speed up your site.
Local SEO Tip # 4: Backlink Building
Building Backlinks can be one of the more difficult ways to build up your local SEO, but it is also one of the most rewarding – whether you are guest blogging on another site or simply creating content that is so valuable people link to it. The easier route is guest blogging. Reach out to popular bloggers and offer to donate content (with a link to your site included), or submit your current blogs to sites like Business2Community. Regardless of the route you go, getting high quality links will really improve your rankings.
If you want a little more information regarding SEO and how to use it for your business, check out “You’re the Marketing Department”, a podcast for solo marketers in growing organizations around the country.
Even with resources like this, it can be difficult to get your site listed on page one of Google. That is why many companies partner with New North. They provide SEO services for a wide variety of different companies and have had tremendous success doing so. Reach out and see how New North can bring your business to the next level.
Jacob is a digital marketer who takes joy in translating complexity into clarity. He has a passion for helping tech and finance companies connect with their customers. He also has a small cat.