By John Paul
As a local company, you’ve likely struggled to generate leads with marketing techniques designed for businesses that don’t rely on a brick and mortar storefront. While some traditional SEO and marketing tactics will produce results, your best friend as a small business is local SEO. This is the cost-effective and just plain effective way to generate local leads without wasting time or resources on customers outside your service area. To get the most out of this strategy, incorporate these 10 local SEO techniques designed to triple local leads:
- NAP Data Across ALL Relevant Channels: Your NAP Data (Name, Address and Phone Number) may seem like such obvious information that it doesn’t need to be mentioned, but so many businesses fail to maximize the influence of this critical data. All too often, a company will include their NAP on their Contact Us page but nowhere else. Especially when it comes to your phone number, customers will want to see this info on your homepage and anywhere else they’re looking for your business. Because of the nature of how people search, i.e. quickly and through a mobile device, no one is willing to look in a second location for your phone number or address. If you don’t have NAP details in all the places your customers are looking, you’re potentially missing out on their business.
- NAP Data for Social Media Accounts: First of all, you should have social media accounts for SEO and branding purposes. Secondly, make your NAP details front and center on all your socials. Consider the fact that many people could be hearing about you through these channels as their friends and other influencers spread the word. It’s critical that you make it as easy as possible for them to find your NAP information.
- Add Your Company to Local Directories: This is an important step to getting leads for any local business, but it’s especially relevant for any company that hasn’t set up a website or other social media accounts. If you’re just getting started with your online presence, local directories offer one of the few ways to get into searching rankings without a dedicated site.
- Post Your Company on Review Sites: Start a page on sites like Yelp.com and other review platforms to give customers a place to put their comments. It’s important that you start this page as opposed to letting a customer do so. Not only will this ensure that the data is accurate on the site, it will also help encourage customers to leave reviews. Similar to putting a dollar in a tip jar to get it started, having a page already up will make customers more likely to add their own “two cents.”
- Ensure Consistent NAP Data: As you include your NAP on all of the above sites and directories, make sure you’re keeping everything consistent. Posting your company name as “Suds and Sandwiches on East” in one place, but shortening it to “Suds and Sandwiches” in another will cause more confusion than you realize. Anyone looking up your business could easily assume they are two different establishments. Similarly, an inconsistent address can cause issues with how Google finds you, losing you even more local leads.
- Ask for Honest Reviews: Reviews on outlets like Yelp.com, FourSquare and similar sites have a direct impact on page rankings. Your customers honest comments and reviews could be one of the best tools you have for bringing in more customers. The key here is to make sure you ask for honest reviews. When people post a fake review, or are given an incentive to create one, it will read as ingenuine and hurt more than help your cause.
- Incorporate Location-Specific Key Phrases: Optimizing for general phrases like “black shoes,” “Greek food” or “local SEO” may work for big companies who can pay to rank for these highly-saturated terms, but they will do little for a local business. Instead, target these same keywords with a city included. For example: black shoes Mississauga or local SEO Toronto. Less people will be searching for these phrases, but you will also have less competition, resulting in more quality leads overall.
- Follow the Longtail to Success: Whether you create a long tail key phrase based on a location or simply a more complex product or service name, a longer phrase is easier to rank for. Following the example above, you’d get more leads with “black shoes with tassels” or “black athletic running shoes” than for “black shoes” alone.
- Link and Citation Building: Link building is a relevant SEO tactic for all businesses, but is especially crucial for gaining local leads. The key here is to have links to other local businesses talking about similar products, services and topics as you. Consider these local link building strategies.
- Create Relevant Meta Descriptions: Don’t ignore your metas! These are almost always posted by search engines on the results page, meaning they are the first thing customers see about your business. While they do not affect rankings directly, they do serve to entice your customers to click when they see your business in the search results. Make sure that these are well written, under 160 characters and include relevant information, including keywords when possible.
When optimizing to get more local leads, it’s often the small things that make the biggest impact. Unlike major marketing campaigns and advertising efforts, SEO is largely invisible to customers. However, when incorporated properly, these local SEO tactics serve as an affordable way to triple your leads.
At 2Marketing, we pride ourselves on our focus to work closely with our clients to assess and determine what their specific needs are and what business goals and constraints they have in order to create sustainable goals that generate genuine results. Our inbound marketing strategies are closed looped and are designed to enhance your brands presence online. We accomplish this task by attracting prospects from your target demographic and increasing the amount of traffic drawn to your website. By utilizing SEO Toronto, social media marketing, PPC, and a variety of other tools in our arsenal, we generate more leads, increase sales, and convert your clients into promoters of your brand.