how seo can improve your local businessIt may seem as if tactics like search engine optimization are only for national companies with huge budgets, but SEO can have tremendous impact on a local business. With the right research and planning, SEO will be the cost-effective and secure choice for boosting your search rankings and your customer base.

How Does SEO Help Customers Find Your Business?

One of the simplest and easiest ways SEO can improve your business is by helping Google know where you are. And when Google knows where you are, your customers will too. Accomplish this by including consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data on your site, your social media accounts, local directories, review sites and anywhere else your address appears.

Getting the Most Out of NAP Data: Having your NAP data available is important, however, to get the full benefit of it, you need to ensure it’s consistent across all platforms. The last thing you want is for someone to see that your business has a different name or street address on your facebook page than the one they just found on Yellowpages.com.

Even a small detail like listing your restaurant as “Bill’s Burgers” in one place and “Bill’s Burgers on Main” in another will cause confusion. Customers will find themselves asking things like: Is it the same place? Are there two locations? Did Bill move? Why am I having to think this hard to find a burger place? If your customers are asking any of these questions after searching for your business, you’re not benefiting from SEO the way you should be.

What Can Long Tail Keyphrases do for Your Local Business?

Another way SEO is the perfect marketing vehicle for local businesses is with longtail keywords. Instead of spending thousands on trying to rank for general terms like “restaurant” or “burger restaurant”, Bill’s Burgers can spend less and get more with longer, more complex keyphrases.

Unlike major burger chain competitors, Bill can concentrate his efforts on highly-specialized keyphrases like “best burgers in Ajax, Ontario”. This phrase won’t have as many people searching for it, but it also won’t have as many businesses optimizing for it either. With SEO, Bill’s Burgers can make its way to the top of the organic search rankings for keyphrases like this and find customers who are actively searching for his services in the area he’s located in. For more information on why you shouldn’t ignore long tail keyphrases, check out this guide on focusing on long tail keywords.

How Does SEO Find You the Right Customers?

SEO helps you zero in on and target the people who are most likely to want your services. Because of tactics like long tail keyphrases, you’re able to reach people who need your services at the exact time and place they need them.

Unlike posting an ad in a local paper or running a radio spot, SEO has the advantage of immediacy. When a customer sees or hears an ad, there’s no guarantee they need your service. By the time they do need it, it’s entirely possible they’ll have forgotten the ad or don’t remember key details like an address or the name of your business.

SEO, on the other hand, puts your business in front of a potential customer at the very time they’re looking for what you provide. This gets even better when you have an optimized mobile site and can reach people as they’re on their various devices; on the move and ready to go to the first place that pops up on their screen.

When considering the benefits of SEO for your local business, there are many strategies and methods you can take on. Ultimately, doing something is better than nothing when it comes to optimizing your site. However, to get the biggest advantages, it’s beneficial to hire a marketing company that specializes in local SEO. With expert guidance, you can hone in on the right keywords and start reaping the rewards faster.

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