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The recurring nightmare for any small business owner occurs when they search for their particular services online and find no trace of their company's name.    As a local business owner, ensuring that you are found by a relevant audience requires a very specialized sort of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Local SEO has evolved over the years, but the proper application of it can allow a company to boost their visibility in search results, bringing in more customers and greater revenue for the business.  Here are just four of the key marketing essentials for local SEO success.

On-page SEO Factors

There are many factors that contribute to rankings in local search, yet on-page SEO is among the most important.    Such things as the proper placement of keywords, domain authority, and the presence of NAP, which we discuss next, can't be ignored if you wish your business to be discovered online.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

Websites should not only be optimized for SEO but they also now need to be mobile-friendly.  The mobile-friendliness of a website is now a Google ranking factor as more and more customers are searching for information about you from their tablets and smartphones.

Optimized for Voice Search

Do you speak to your phone or laptop?  Many people do and the growth of voice search, think Siri and Cortana, now means that businesses need to optimize their websites for these consumers.

The Presence of NAP

NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, which need to be consistent across your entire website.  Also, a Schema markup of your NAP should be encoded into your website to provide the search engines with the information to accurately display your company's information.

NAP Variation Issues -Once NAP is properly dealt with on the website, you'll want to make a list of any variations in your business name, prior addresses, or alternate phone numbers.  From these discrepancies, you can build a list of all of the different variations of your business listings in search engines and various online directories.

Building Citations -NAP consistency and the volume of citations are other large factors that relate to local search success.  Google constantly scans sites such as Yellowbook, YP, Google My Business, Facebook, and Dexknows.  Depending on your location, there are also likely some local or regional directories that may be beneficial to create citations in.   As there are many directories and consistency is paramount, working with a pro to complete this exercise can be both a time-saver and incredibly helpful.

Local Reviews

When customers search for a local business, they overwhelming want to see reviews.  A survey by revealed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.  Getting reviews on such sites as Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Angie's List will help your company's search engine rankings.  This takes time to accumulate with encouragement to customers and isn't something that can be fast-tracked.

Link Building Campaigns

Link-building is often a baffling exercise for website owners.  Essentially, having links point to your website counts as a "vote" but they must come from relevant and credible sources. Otherwise, you'll damage your visibility over time.  Link building can be accomplished through social media, news sources, and trade websites.  It's an ongoing exercise that will add credibility to your business over time.

If you own a local small business, the importance of optimizing for local search can't be understated.  A recent Local Consumer Review study reported that ninety-two percent of consumers have used an online search to locate a local business in the past year.  While local search can be learned in time, it can be incredibly confusing for many business owners who would rather concentrate on managing their core business.  NAP is the most important factor in local SEO and making a mistake in this area can be costly.  Lulu Web Design offers comprehensive NAP services for local search as well as other local SEO services.  Contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Get Found Locally: 4 Marketing Essentials That Will Help Small Business Owners Win at Local Search

Local SEO expert Lulu Web Design