These days, most business owners are at least somewhat familiar with search engine optimization (SEO). However, a lot of them don’t know about local SEO.
Ninety-seven percent of search engine users have used Google to find a local business. If you’re not focusing on local SEO, you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers.
What’s holding you back from making local SEO a priority? If it’s a lack of money, keep reading. Listed below are some strategies that will help you enjoy the benefits of local SEO without having to spend a fortune on local SEO services.
What is Local SEO?
Let’s start with the basics. Local SEO is all about making adjustments to your online presence so that it shows up on search engine results pages when people are looking for businesses in a particular area.
For example, if you’re a hair salon in Salt Lake City, Utah, you could use local SEO strategies to optimize your site so that it shows up at the top of the page when someone puts in a search for “hair salons in Salt Lake City.”
Benefits of Local SEO
There are lots of benefits that come with making local SEO a priority. The following are some of the main reasons why businesses are starting to focus on going local:
- Build your business’s online visibility
- Increase foot traffic and bring new customers (and sales) to your business
- Deliver targeted traffic and more motivated website visitors
- Promote enhanced Google Maps visibility so more people can find your business
- Improve relevance and establish credibility
- Build your business’s reputation and promote trust
In simplest terms, local SEO techniques help to bring more motivated visitors to your website and increases the likelihood that they will visit your business. This, in turn, helps to boost your bottom line and put more money in your bank account. Why wouldn’t you want to start improving your local SEO game?
How to Save Money on Local SEO Services
SEO techniques (both local and general) can be very beneficial to businesses of all sizes. A lot of businesses aren’t making SEO as much of a priority as they should, though.
There are lots of reasons for this, including a lack of knowledge and feeling overwhelmed about how to begin. Another common issue is that people think it’s too expensive for them to utilize local SEO services.
It’s true that some local SEO services are quite expensive. There are also a lot of low-cost options out there that can help you get great results though.
The following are some affordable local SEO strategies you can use to boost your business’s search engine rankings without appearing cheap or as though you’re trying to cut corners:
Help with Keyword Research
Many local SEO services offer keyword research as part of their packages. You might be able to save some money by doing your own keyword research.
There are lots of easy-to-use tools, many of which are free, available online that allow you to figure out which keywords your target customers are most likely to use when searching for businesses like yours.
If you already have a list of keywords for which you want to rank when you go to a local SEO service, it’ll be easier for an SEO agency to tailor their work to meet your specific needs and goals.
Write Your Own Content
Lots of businesses pay local SEO link outreach services to write content for them. Sometimes, it’s worth it to outsource this task, especially if you’re not a strong writer or don’t have the time to dedicate to content creation.
On the other hand, there are benefits to writing your own content. First, you get to save money and dedicate your budget to other local SEO services that will provide more benefit to your business. You also have more control over the content itself and can avoid publishing subpar content or having to waste time editing it to meet your standards.
Reach Out to Your Friends
Many local SEO services also help you build links back to your website. Link building is a key part of a strong SEO strategy, as it helps to attract new traffic to your website and establishes your business as an authority within the industry.
Before you work with a local SEO service for help with building link, try reaching out to your friends who work in the same or similar industries.
Talk to them about including links to your website in their content in exchange for links back to their content on your website. This will increase your chances of reaching local shoppers, and you’ll get to help out your fellow local business owners. It’s a win-win!
Handle Social Media on Your Own
If you have a solid social media presence, it’s going to be easier for you to engage with your audience and spread the word about your business.
Lots of local businesses find great success from using social media to promote their products and services and share valuable information with their followers.
There are lots of services that offer to handle your social media for you. Creating your own posts and responding to comments on your own can help you maintain a sense of authenticity, though, which is something on which internet users place a high value.
This also helps you save money to put toward other areas of your business.
Build Your Own Business Website
If you can build your own website, you can save a lot of money and have more to dedicate to your local SEO strategy. There are lots of tools out there that make it easy for you to build an attractive and functional website.
When you’re putting your site together, be sure to take steps to boost your local search engine ranking. This includes the following:
- Making contact information consistent and visible
- Using live chat and contact forms to engage with customers
- Including your target keywords (in a natural way) throughout the site
- Keeping it updating
- Publishing blog posts and/or videos to connect with customers and provide more value
- Making sure your blog posts and/or videos have a local focus as much as possible
Make sure you also sett up Google Analytics to track your website’s rankings and progress.
Set Up Your Own Citations
Citations in online directories are a great way to spread the word about your business and help people find it. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to set up your own citations, and it’s free.
Make sure you’re optimizing your citations to increase the chances that people will see them, though. This includes using a consistent format across all directories and ensuring that all of the information (address, name, etc.) is accurate.
The more positive reviews you have for your business, the easier it will be for people to find it.
Ask your customers to leave reviews online to help get the word out about your business. You may even want to set up some kind of drawing or offer a small reward, such as a discount on their next purchase, in exchange for a review.
Know When to Outsource
There are lots of things you can do yourself to boost your business’s local SEO strategy. Sometimes, though, you need to bring in an expert.
If there’s a particular aspect of your local SEO strategy that you’re struggling with, it’s worth it to hire a professional local SEO service to help you out.
If you don’t want to pay for a full local SEO package, you can try to find a business that offers individual services. For example, if you struggle with writing blog posts, SEOExplode recommends outsourcing just the content writing aspect of your strategy.
Learn to Spot Reputable Services
It’s important to know when it’s time to outsource certain aspects of your local SEO strategy. However, you shouldn’t put your business’s online presence in just anyone’s hands.
The better you are at determining whether a local SEO service is credible, the more likely you are to get your money’s worth. Be wary of services that make claims that seem too good to be true.
No matter how good they are, no one can guarantee you the number one spot on Google, nor can they guarantee a certain number of visitors to your website.
Look for businesses that have positive reviews themselves and that are honest and realistic about what you can expect from them. Ask about their general practices, too, to ensure they’re not engaged in any questionable tactics.
Start Saving Today
Local SEO services play a big role in helping your business to grow. It helps you to reach people who are local and most likely to buy what you’re selling.
If you’ve been wanting to up your local SEO game but haven’t wanted to spend a ton of money, implementing the above tips can help you start making some positive changes. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to stick to your budget and reap the benefits of local SEO without being cheap.
Do you want to learn more about local SEO or SEO in general? Visit the Business section of our site today for additional information.