How To Scale Your Business With Local SEO
Have you heard the complacency quote that states “if you are not moving forward, you are falling behind”? Many businesses have the idea that if they have enough business as it is, then they do not need to concern themselves with business growth.
Unfortunately, even if your business maintains the same customer flow, it will fall behind the market, your industry, and the competition. There will come a time where every business wonders why the same effort and customers yield fewer profits.
At this point, a local business may increase their current pricing. While sometimes price increases are necessary to keep up with inflation, complacency in your business marketing and growth plan isn’t a justified reason for raising prices. An unjustified cost increase to the customer ends up creating a leak in customer satisfaction that has detrimental effects on your business.
How Local SEO Can Help
No other form of marketing gives you the depth of insight into your business as SEO. Working with a local SEO agency gives you access to insights about your customers, what they want, and how to best service them. It is with local SEO that you can build a business asset, add value to your existing clients, and identify ways to scale your business.
If you’re busy but need more profitability, here are ways SEO can drive local customers, increase transaction size, and scale profitability in your business.
A Hypothetical SEO Example
I’d like to introduce you to Paul. Paul is an accountant in Santa Barbara, California. He services businesses in Carpinteria, Ventura, Goleta, and other neighboring communities. Paul is busy but is concerned that his name and reputation will fade over time as clients move away and new accountants with innovative marketing strategies enter the industry.
Paul offers tax planning, tax filing, bookkeeping, payroll, and other accounting related services. While he offers a multitude of services, 90% of his revenues come from tax planning and preparation.
Paul is uncertain how to grow his business. Wasting money only to make himself more busy is a recipe for failure. If that happens, his work life balance will be out of whack and he won’t provide the great service to his clients that already exists.
Here are methods Paul should consider about how to best grow his business.
Multiplying Your Core Product or Service
One way to grow your business is through local SEO is to concentrate on your core service. Having built years of expertise and a catalog of knowledge around the industry is valuable to your local SEO strategy. Getting information out of your head and onto a website helps search engines see you as the local authority.
In this scenario, you add a member to your team who can perform a core service or reduce your workload by assuming the tasks someone else can perform. You then partner with a local SEO agency who builds keyword and topic rich content on your website. But don’t worry, you are not required to write the article yourself. A qualified local SEO company has a conversation with you, the SME (subject matter expert), to gather insider information before creating the article for you.
The agency then points this page to your core product or service, adding a call to action for readers to take. You then put lighter fluid on that content by using your Google Business Profile to share that topic with a local audience.
More Than Content Marketing
Of course, this is a simplified version of what a local SEO agency does to build topical authority for your industry. But it gives you an idea as to the steps taken to increase your search engine rankings for organic search, maps, and business profiles.
Your local SEO marketing agency will perform behind-the-scenes efforts to grow your ranking position, gathering more data around your core product. Some methods include backlink building through guest posts or online mentions, directory listings, and technical SEO requirements for your website’s structure.
Growing Your Product or Service Offerings
Customer needs are where many business owners find opportunities to expand a product or service line. With the accountant example, it could be their bookkeeping service. But while there may be a demand and client interest, the resource requirements for the secondary product have more cost than the income it brings.
Your secondary source of revenue for your business needs a marketing strategy that goes beyond your expert authority and reputation. However, leveraging your authority and reputation within this marketing strategy to build a solid foundation for propelling growth.
In the accountant’s case, building a local SEO strategy around that secondary business drives local customers to the business who may not yet know about their primary business. This creates another organic method for increasing clientele in a way that gives the business a greater lifetime value from its customers.
Adding Additional Locations
Let’s get straight to the point on this one. You should, without question, hire a local SEO agency before you open a new location. The local SEO services provided give you insights into the best locations and potential customer demand for your product or service.
Having owned many brick n mortar businesses in the 805, I can tell you firsthand that not performing local keyword research can have a detrimental impact on your business. I witnessed this when moving a business into a busy location while paying more rent. The result of a 2-street move from Carrillo st. to State st. resulted in a 50% drop in sales (ouch).
As we at 805 SEO frequently discuss, local search engine optimization with content marketing is the best form of digital marketing for understanding your customers wants and needs. By doing keyword research and building local content, you determine the inner workings of your clients to better serve them in the long term.
Having a local SEO strategy helps your small business stay connected to your community, even when managing multiple locations.
How to Scale Your Business With Local SEO
Now that we have discussed three ways to scale your business with SEO, let’s unpack the steps needed to increase your local search results.
- Build out and nurture your search engine business listings such as Google Business Profile (formally Google My Business).
- Correctly setup your NAP (name, address, & phone number) data while building backlinks across all relevant directories and map services.
- Build an SEO strategy with an agency to find all local link building opportunities both in and out of your network.
- Ensure your website is free of technical SEO issues and has the latest plugins and applications for SEO success.
- Create local content that speaks directly to your community.
- Build informational SEO content that applies to your clientele.
Search Engine Business Listings
There are three ways that your business can become listed on Google, Bing, and other search engine companies. The first is letting them find you. This either happens through repeated searches or because of search engines pulling from other directory websites. While the artificial intelligence of these platforms is growing more powerful every day, they frequently get information wrong, resulting in customer confusion and frustration.
The second way is by setting up the listings by yourself. You can create business listings with the Google Business Profile and Bing Places website with little help. These allow you to provide basic and specific information about your business. This information not only helps the customer but also helps the search engine determine when and how to show you in a local listing search.
The third way is to hire an SEO agency who will set up your local listings for you. Not only does this take an additional task off of your plate, but we set it up in a way that takes advantage of best SEO practices. Some methods include doing keyword research for volume and trends, conducting competitive analysis, and using a business listing profile to its maximum potential with posts, photos, and videos.
Business Directory Listings
Search engines are not the only way to have your business seen when somebody searches online. Adding your business to directory listings adds additional local citation credits which link back to your website. While not as valuable as a true backlink, these directory listings hold weight and are well worth the initial investment. When you compound this with the internal search benefit of that directory listings, grabbing as many of these local citations as apply to your business is a good idea.
Local Link Building
The greatest opportunity a company has for building links to their business website is to leverage their local community, including places referrals generate from and organizations in their network. An accountant can work to build backlinks through friendly organizations, such as credit unions, lawyers, community groups, and charities.
As with any local SEO effort, each aspect should be done with the customer in mind. SEO professionals do not build backlinks for the sake of increasing numbers. We add them holistically, matching the customers minds and the search engines algorithm. We can create local backlinks through online testimonials and reviews, being the recommended partner and guest posting articles on their website.
Where possible, a local SEO service will optimize the technical aspects of your online website. The list is longer than this article has time for, but may include URL structure, addressing thin & duplicate content, creating meta information, optimizing images, and increasing page speed. These are important details to address, ensuring your SEO campaign is a success.
An SEO agency will run into complications if your website is built on an old platform that has a lot of custom coding. In today’s world, complicated websites are rarely necessary, which is why at 805 SEO we build websites on the WordPress platform. You should consider a change if your existing website is operating on an outdated or underperforming website platform.
Local SEO Content
Even if you feel like David Vs. Goliath when competing against corporations, you can win by leveraging local SEO tactics. Building out your product pages, service pages, location pages, and local pages with a local intent positively impacts your search results. The Accountant offering Bookkeeping services can out position H&R Block in Santa Barbara by making their pages relevant to that local community.
Your pages may include local reviews, directions from specific starting points, and reference local establishments or historical locations throughout the page. H&R Block would never let their main bookkeeping page speak to a single city, which is a good thing for your local business.
Traditional SEO Content
Because a page will not achieve first page rankings for the national topic does not mean that you shouldn’t be writing that content. What we may consider a national SEO topic will still be important for your Apple or Google Map, search engine, and business listing rankings because it builds topical authority.
As you grow your online presence, ensure your audience has access to relevant content so it does not force them to a competitor’s website for the answer. When you combine this with the topical authority algorithm that search engines such as Google use, it makes sense to include it in your local SEO strategy.
In local SEO, it is effort and best practices that give you the advantage. But it is just as important to “do the right thing” for your customers and community.
Your Local SEO Agency
Do you need help to create and execute the right SEO strategy for your business? 805 SEO consists of local SEO experts who understand the Tri-Counties. We have owned businesses and lived in San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County. Fill out the form below for a free website audit and strategy call with an 805 SEO expert.