When it comes to marketing your business, you need to be prepared to invest your money or your time – or, in some cases, both.
If you don’t know this by now, you’ll find out soon enough. Professional marketing services are expensive. Designing and implementing your own marketing strategies, while less costly, requires a lot of time and effort. Local search engine optimization (SEO) is no exception.
I’m writing this post to help two types of people:
- Small business owners who are on a shoestring budget and want to optimize their local search.
- Local SEO specialists who have clients on a shoestring budget.
I know from experience that small business owners are often reluctant to budget for costly marketing services. In some cases, they’re trying to be frugal; in others, they simply cannot afford to pay for professional SEO support.
I’m here to help ease the pain and educate you on how to succeed at local SEO on a tight budget. Here are four steps to build and implement a solid, affordable SEO strategy:
1. Study up on Local SEO
If you’re serious about saving money, invest some time in learning about local SEO. You can start by reading some of the great blog posts on our website, then check out some other available resources.
I highly recommend The Moz Learning Center, which offers abundant information about local SEO broken down into easy-to-read sections.
I’ve personally spent hours reading through articles on The Moz Learning Center, and can honestly say that the site is a big factor in why I feel confident offering local SEO services today.
2. Build Your Local Business Website
Your website is your company’s most important Internet asset.
WordPress, a popular website creation tool, offers thousands of free themes, making it the perfect starting point for businesses on a budget. You can also upgrade to a paid theme if you want to invest more in your website.
When building and maintaining your website, you should always make sure to have valuable content for readers. Regularly updated, relevant content keeps search engines happy and helps optimize your page.
Follow these quick tips to create a successful local business website:
- Make your contact information easily visible and consistent.
- Get your customers talking with live chat and contact forms.
- Design a user-friendly interface.
- Use searchable keywords on your site.
- Update your website regularly.
- Keep your site fresh by adding new products and services.
- Start a blog to share news and stories.
- Add links to your social media channels to increase engagement.
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive.
- Set up Google Analytics and track your results.
3. Get a Grip on Citations
Local business owners need to understand the importance of citations. A citation is when a web-based reference mentions your NAP (name, address, phone number).
It’s simple: the more quality citations you have over your competitors, the better your local search rankings will be. Take time to learn about the major data aggregators and get local-based or industry-based directories to list your NAP.
To learn more about the importance of citations, check out our previous blog post.
4. Improve Your Reviews
Did you know the majority of people trust Internet reviews as much as they do personal recommendations? Since web reviews are so easily accessible, it’s vital that you make sure your business builds a positive reputation online.
Improving and increasing your Internet reviews is a cheap, effective way to crank up your rankings and get potential customers to notice your business.
Don’t skip this step – check out our previous post on how to improve your reviews.
Increase Your Value
If you’re a small business owner, we hope that these straightforward steps will help you improve local SEO without spending too much money or time. If you’re a SEO specialist working with clients on a budget, we hope you’ll share this post to help them understand the value of SEO and your work!
What are your go-to resources for local SEO?