6 Ways to Improve Local SEO Without Link Building

google maps

So many people are focused on improving their SEO at a large scale, but local SEO can be a vital asset for any company; especially one with multiple locations. Local SEO is important for companies to help them show up on SERPs more frequently in front of a relevant audience. The problem is that apart from utilizing link building, one of the most well known ways to increase rank in search engines, improving your local SEO can seem tricky.

When it comes to local SEO, you have to worry about creating local accounts for all of the different search engines, categorizing your business properly, and always keeping your local page updated. However as tricky as it may seem, it really isn’t difficult once you get started and follow the directions given to you by the search engines. Keep a few tips in mind and you’ll be set to go.

Tips to Improving Your Local SEO Strategy Without Link Building

If you’re trying to find alternatives to improving your local presence (particularly without link building), don’t sweat it. To help make things easier, check out the following six tips to give your company a boost in the local search space:

1. Sign up for local accounts on the major search engines.

For starters, you’re going to want to make sure you have a local business page all set up for the top search engines (Click here to sign up for Google, here for Yahoo and here for Bing). You’ll need to provide basic information like location, phone number and more, but the setup is very simple as you walk through the pages.

If your business already exists in local search, that’s OK. You don’t have to be the one to set up your local page in search engines, but once it is set up, make sure to claim it. When you click the links to setup your pages it will ask you to type in your business. If your business already pops up it means someone created it online. You simply click “claim” and you’re set to go. This always confuses those new to local search, but trust me, it happens all the time.

2. Categorization is arguably one of the most important aspects to local search.

This is vital to the process. As you’re signing up to create or claim your local page, search engines will prompt you to provide a primary category. If you don’t select a category or you select the wrong category, you may not show up at all in search engines, so be sure to give it some thought before making a final selection. After your primary category is set, you can add as many as nine other categories, as well, but they don’t have the same impact as the primary categorization.

According to Moz Local, “Choosing the best categories each time you create a local business listing significantly improves the relevance of your business in searches for your chosen categories. “

3. Accuracy of your NAP information is key.

Having the correct information is a big part of improving your local SEO. Make sure information like name, address, and phone number (all referred to as NAP information) along with contact info, hours of operation, etc. are accurate for all of your listings. If you have yet to claim a page for your business already listed somewhere on the web, make sure you at least contact the owner to ensure the information is correct. Even the smallest things can mess up the local SEO everywhere.

On this same note, check out as many local directories as you can to make sure your business isn’t listed differently somewhere on the web by someone else. Even a slight name change could make a difference (hyphen or no hyphen, abbreviations, etc.).

4. Get listed in local directories.

One of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO is to get listed in the top online directories. Look around the web to try to get listed in as many places a possible to help give your business a bump. Moz Local provides an effective tool to help.

5. Reviews matter for local SEO.

Don’t underestimate the impact of online reviews on your SEO page rank. A study by Digital Marketing Works in September 2013 shows just how important reviews can be in Google. While you can’t ensure that your company has a ton of glowing reviews and minimal negative reviews, you can take steps to get more reviews in general, which should hopefully help boost your company overall. Consider asking your loyal customers to review your company as well as making a “review us” link or button on your homepage easy to find.

6. Optimize your text and photos on your listings.

Use high-quality photos to spice things up and make sure the information you list when signing up for search engines is listed on your site somewhere. Use the city and geographical location wherever possible and don’t overlook the description or “About” section of your site. It’s an easy way to inform people of what you do and what you’re about (and using a few keywords wouldn’t hurt!).

Have you utilized any other ways to improve your local SEO? What have you found works – or doesn’t work – for you and your company? Let us know in the comments section below.

Creative commons image by bluman / Flickr