What to Ask Local SEO Experts

When you are managing and operating a small, local business, you mostly depend on foot traffic and word-of-mouth to generate sales. However, in today’s digital world, it’s high time you consider working with local SEO experts to impact the success of your business.

As a business owner, you may have already heard the term “search engine optimization” as an effective online marketing strategy. Local SEO is a subset of that.

Working with Local SEO Experts

Up to 30% of Google searches are local – and the number keeps growing. A local search entails users specifying certain geographical limitations to search through a list of local company listings on the web.

30% of Google searches are local.

Thus, employing the services of local SEO experts is a massive driving force to attract potential customers. 

Generally, the process will take time to customize an excellent local SEO strategy for your business. Since SEO is a long-term process and investment, that’s not surprising.

It still drives a critical point across, which is: Only work with local SEO experts who are qualified and experienced to give you favorable results.

We’ve compiled some helpful questions you can ask local SEO professionals so that you can understand the process better.

What is your process?

A professional SEO agency should be able to explain their process to their clients in layman’s terms. Local SEO entails a multitude of approaches and technical methods. Some of these techniques tend to be more applicable and practical to a particular type of business than others.

You need to gauge and have a better understanding of how an agency performs its day-to-day operations. A quality SEO company will be fully transparent about what they will do to improve their clients’ rankings.

Of course, you don’t have to know the extent of the technical and analytical side of it. However, if an SEO agency is hesitant to share their methods with you, this may be a red flag.

A good follow-up question to this is how you, as a client, will be involved in the process.

Naturally, the answer to this question will be different for every situation. By asking this question, you can pick up on how collaborative and transparent an SEO agency is.

Other essential details to know when you ask this question is the length of the campaign, the project requirements, a realistic timeline when you can see positive results, etc.

What are your experiences with other companies?

You need to know how the skills and methods of a local SEO agency will meet your needs. By asking about their previous experiences with other companies, especially businesses in a similar field as you yours, you’ll be more at ease working with them.

For instance, you’re a plumbing company. An SEO agency with experience working with trade and home improvement service providers will be more familiar with your type of market and everything that pertains to it.

Ask for websites or referrals from your SEO agency. If they are hesitant to show you any of these, keep looking for real, local SEO experts.

Have you done SEO for local businesses?

If you want your small, local business to succeed in a metropolitan area, local SEO is indispensable. Obviously, you want to work with an SEO agency that has useful and relevant experience. Inquire about what results they got with local SEO for previous clients who are also small business owners.

How do you communicate with your clients?

Local SEO professionals are hard to come by, unless you know where to look.

There are three essential things you need to know about once you start your local SEO partnership with an SEO agency:

  • Who will you be in contact with?
  • How often will you be updated?
  • How will you communicate?

 If they give you suitable answers and can share a dependable task management system and schedule, then that’s an excellent sign.

What do you need to know about my company?

While local SEO professionals are the experts in their field, you are the expert in yours. Thus, for the SEO specialists to properly market and promote your business, they need to know what to tell potential customers about you.

Ask the SEO specialists for the extent of your part in coming up with the SEO strategy for your business. SEO companies will usually have a standard procedure in collecting the required information to get your ad campaign started.

5 Ways to Enhance SEO For Local Businesses

Small businesses operate on a more concentrated and regional level. As opposed to search engine optimization on a national level, SEO for local businesses pays more attention to ranking in searches in a specified location.

This strategy relies on promoting your brands, products, and services to regional targets and leads.

Optimizing SEO for local businesses will yield higher website traffic, conversions, and leads. This approach targets your local base of customers.

A more focused targeting strategy is an effective way to put you at the forefront of your competitions.

Focus on a more local SEO strategy for your business

It helps you compete using more effective methods against more prominent, national brands, which, quite frankly, have unlimited marketing funds to spend.

By focusing on a more local-SEO for businesses, you have better chances of neutralizing more prominent brands that use more brand recognition, rather than place importance on propositions to pull in traffic and conversions.

SEO for Local Businesses Tip: Go Local

Here are five ways you can utilize SEO for local businesses.

Create a Google My Business Account

Signing up for and claiming a Google My Business account is easy.  This launches your existence on Google, which is the biggest search engine today. Claiming your Google My Business account means when people search for your industry, you’ll also show up on Google Maps.

Aside from appearing on Google’s search results, you’ll also be deemed a legitimate business entity, once Google authenticates your business.

Claiming your Google My Business account is one thing; another essential thing to remember is to optimize it.

  • Verify your business listing
  • Make sure all information about your business is accurate
  • Upload your logo
  • Include your business hours, acceptable modes of payment, accepted insurance, a list of the products and services you offer
  • Include well-shot photos
  • Respond to customer reviews – whether negative or positive
  • Create useful content on a consistent schedule

Attract Positive Reviews From Satisfied Customers

More and more customers rely on reviews and testimonials just as much as they would personal recommendations. Google strongly recommend asking your customers for reviews.

Ask your customers to post their positive experience with your business online.

Getting your customers to share their positive experience doing business with you on the web will significantly help your online web reputation.

Ask your customers to leave online reviews for you. You can help make this happen by doing the following:

  • Asking for a review in person after your transaction with them.
  • Sending customers a post-purchase message via text or email asking them to leave a review
  • Posting responses to your existing customer reviews and addressing any complaints

Writing Content Influenced By Local Events and Stories

One highly effective SEO for local businesses strategy is creating content that relates to local issues. These local issues are what your local customers are drawn to.

Write about local activities, stories, or events – anything that directly relates to your local clientele. You can even create videos about local causes or charities that your organization supports.

Additionally, if you’re a business with different branches around the country, dedicate a location-specific page on your site. Each of these pages should have good-quality content.

For example, you’re a restaurant owner with different branches in your home state, create one page for each of your restaurant branch. Highlight localized content on each of these location-specific pages.

Mobile-Friendly Website

Everyone has a mobile phone. And according to recent marketing studies, mobile searches are outranking desktop ones.

An SEO for local businesses strategy that should be utilized is getting your website to be mobile-friendly.

Make sure that the mobile version of your site loads quickly. If a customer has to wait more than three seconds for your website to load on their phones, chances are they’ll close out of it and move on to the next site.

In terms of design, use fonts that are easier to read. Avoid using excessive images and baseless content. Share information that you know is going to be relevant to your readers.

Focus on Local Keywords

Writing good-quality content goes hand-in-hand with using relevant local keywords. Utilize tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to know what common keywords are based on your location.

SEO for local businesses also use region-specific hotspots, tourist sites, or landmarks in the copy. For example, you have a local restaurant in downtown Austin. You can include references such as “dining by the State Capitol” or Capitol-area restaurant.”

Are Local SEO Services Right for Me?

The internet has increased our reach. While sitting at any location, you can find businesses and retailers anywhere in the world, and hopefully connect with them easily. Local SEO services are especially important for any business that relies on business in real life. If you have a storefront or a service-based business that only serves a specific area, then what are you doing online if you don’t optimize your local SEO? The answer is – you’re only doing a fraction of the business you could be doing.

What do local SEO services do?

Local SEO services make it easy for people in your area to find your business, and then shop there! Whether you stand out as a unique business or your market is crowded with competitors, it won’t matter how good your services are if people can’t find you online, and then connect with you offline, too! If you have a storefront or a business that relies on interactions in real life, local SEO is critical to the life of your business. It’s as important as the storefront on your brick-and-mortar location.

It won’t do any good for people in other cities to find you, if you can’t service the people in those cities. And if your business can deliver to other areas, or if you ship your products across multiple locations, you still want people in your area to find you easily and quickly. This is especially helpful if you do a lot of offline marketing. Your local SEO services should make it easy for your business to stand out in the areas where your customers live.

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Local SEO services should help you increase your reach to new markets, strengthen your exposure to the customers you already have or ones you’ve engaged with in the past, and help you manage your online reputation. They serve to basically act like your online local PR company, making it easy for you to always put your best face forward.

Local vs. National SEO

Local SEO services should be doing location-specific things to build your presence within your neighbors. It’s not easy to get in front of the people in your community, but if you’re paying for these services, they should know what to do in order to make it happen.

Google My Business

Local SEO services focus in on what makes you special in your market.
Focus in on what makes you special in your market.

One of the top priorities for local SEO is your Google My Business page. Of course, Google wants users to stay on their own site longer – they built the rules for how optimization works – so Google prioritizes and really boosts local companies who make who the most use of their Google Business page.

Local Website Optimization

One of the other top ways that local SEO services optimize your website itself is to make sure that there are local topics and local addresses listed on your site. Your SEO services should make sure that your city name is listed everywhere needed on your site, as well as that your site includes specific local content. Blogs, local reviews, local influencers, and insider tips about your city can make your site a go-to source for your local industry.

Larger Than Local

While your SEO service should never push you to change your business model – they should always adapt their strategy to the way your business operates – they may suggest that you begin to increase your reach online in new and different ways. Ask your SEO services company about guest blogging, appearances and promotions at live events, targeted social media advertising, inbound linking from other local sources, and managing your online reviews. While not directly related to getting people onto your website, these tactics can go a long way to expanding your business’ reach and getting you in front of more potential clients in your local market.

In Summary

Local SEO is crucial to your business' online life.
SEO is crucial to your business’ online life.

So, are local SEO services right for you? It depends on what type of business you operate, the competitiveness of your industry, and your business’ growth strategy. But, no matter where you live or what the competition is like in your area for your industry, local SEO is sure to establish your company as a central figure in the community. Whether you want to become known as an authority or draw together a huge surge of potential customers and influencers, you should be considering local SEO as an integral part of your marketing strategy.