Harnessing the power of local SEO strategies for your Simcoe County business is one of the most powerful ways to engage with your target customers.
While word of mouth is an amazing way to grow your business, it is also imperative to have an online presence in today’s digital world —and implementing SEO practices on your website is one of the smartest ways to go about it.
With that said, local businesses who want to target customers within a particular geographic location also need to implement different strategies than say, an online product-based business seeking to target customers from all over the world.
First, let’s dive into the important differences between local SEO and regular SEO. Then we’ll show you how you can improve your website using SEO to grow your business right here in Simcoe County.
Local SEO vs Regular SEO (and what the heck is SEO anyway?!)
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is equally as important to small businesses as large, global brands. When you build your website through an SEO lens and optimize it with the right keywords, it shows up higher on Google searches and generally drives more traffic to your website, which generates more attention, leads, and sales.
Regular SEO involves optimizing your website for better visibility on a global, national, or targeted scale. But, businesses here in Simcoe County who want to focus on a local (visitors included) customer base need to target their SEO strategies within a particular geographic area.
Ways to Improve SEO as a Local Business in Simcoe County
Search Engine Optimization strategies can seem a little bit overwhelming if you’ve never tried to tackle them for your local business before, but there are some simple steps you can take which will make a world of difference.
1. Snag Your google business profile listing
Your Google Business Profile is what allows your business to show up on Google Maps, and what puts you in a position to be featured on the local SEO 3-Pack. Skipping your Google Business Profile is a straight-up missed opportunity! Check out ours:
When you search ‘digital marketing wasaga beach,’ Google pulls up Forty Four’s Google my Business listing alongside two other great marketing businesses in the region.
It’s free, and really easy to implement. When you create your Google Business Profile listing, you’ll be asked to include things like your company name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, your logo, product and service descriptions, and more. The more info you provide, the better, but just getting it up there is a great first step!
2. Optimize Your Website Content With The Keywords Your Target Customers Are Searching For
This is such an important step in building strong SEO on your website. You can pay for expensive keyword research tools like SemRush or Ahrefs but they can be a little overwhelming to comprehend, and they’re not really necessary to start.
Ubersuggest is actually another great tool to aid in optimizing your website (this is the one we use!) and you can sign up for a plan as low as $30 a month, but, there are also ways that you can do basic keyword research without spending a dime.
The first is the suggestion feature in Google’s search bar.
For example, if you run a diner here in Wasaga Beach and you search ‘wasaga beach diner’ Google will also show you the following suggestions:
These suggestions come from actual searches that real people are searching for on Google in your area. So, it would only make sense to include the words ‘restaurant’, ‘delivery’ and ‘cafe’ into your website copy along with your location.
Local SEO keyword research is all about getting into the minds of your target customer, so you really want to hone in on what it is you offer and what folks might think about searching when you are crafting your messaging.
In sticking with the diner example, maybe you have a killer menu with some amazing burgers, waffles, and wings. Be sure to include all of these words on your website. You can do so through a general business description on your website, on another page where you list your menu, and even on your about page.
3. Consider Starting A Blog
There is a reason why blogs have been around for so long — they are one of the best ways to build up credibility with both your customer base and Google’s search engines!
Again, with the diner example, if you only have a home page and an about page, there is only so much real estate that you have to work with to implement these keywords. You can’t just list them off a bunch of times because that is considered keyword stuffing, which is highly frowned upon by Google’s algorithms.
By creating a blog, you give Google more pages to index, and yourself more opportunities to rank for particular keywords. For instance, if you happen to run a contracting business in the area, you can target blogs toward a number of different keywords that your ideal customer might be searching for (ie. kitchen renovations, home renovation, bathroom renovation, build a custom home, etc) along with your location tags.
4. Ask For Google Reviews
Any positive testimonial or review is wonderful for credibility, but if you can direct your current client/customer base to give you reviews on Google, it will really help your online presence!
Similar to how Google picks up keywords directly on your website, it will also filter searches through keywords on your Google Reviews.
So, for example, if someone reviews your diner and says that you have ‘one of the best burgers in Wasaga Beach,’ then when someone else searches ‘burgers wasaga beach’ or ‘best burgers wasaga beach,’ Google will pick up that review and send them your way!
It is also just an excellent way to build credibility with your target customer base!
5. Create Listings on Online Directories & Pitch Your Story to the Media
Quality backlinks are like the holy grail of a well-rounded SEO strategy.
According to our friends over at Ubersuggest, a quality backlink is a link that comes from a high domain authority website that is well-trusted by search engines and searchers alike. In other words, not only do the robots trust the website, but actual people also trust the website.
So, by creating listings on trusted websites like The Yellow Pages, Yelp, or even TripAdvisor, you slowly build up your website’s authority.
Being featured in the media is another excellent way to build quality backlinks (and gain the trust of your target audience/consumer). Lots of local news outlets are happy to do features on new businesses when they open, or you can even pitch yourself as a ‘local expert’ that they can turn to when they need a second or third voice for a story.
Phew, we know, that was a lot! And honestly, it is only the tip of the SEO iceberg! If you think you could use a hand with implementing a solid local SEO strategy into your online presence for your Simcoe County business, Forty Four would love to help!