Local Business SEO

Over this past weekend, I was getting a haircut and chatting with my stylist about some of the difficulty he faces regarding getting new clients to walk in unsolicited, he has never really considered local business seo. The business is called Velvet Lab Hair Studio and it is a small business located in Lake Mary, Florida. A small town of about 16,000 located in Seminole County, Florida – about 30 minutes North of Orlando. He was telling me his main strategy for generating business is by hiring experienced stylists that already have a deep clientele – hoping that word of mouth will bring in new business. Naturally, I asked him what he thought about generating clients through the search engines. He told me that he always interested, but never knew where to begin.

Search engine optimization can seem a bit daunting for a beginner, especially with large companies and established brands dominating the search. But you have a small business, in a small community and want to know if it is still possible to reap the benefits of SEO? The answer is yes! Optimizing for local search terms is a fantastic way to learn SEO, simply because there is less competition and it is easier to maintain a more direct and focused scope.  Getting your business listed on the first page will not only will it bring more attention to your company, but allow you overpower your competition. Did you know that approximately 70% of all searchers on Google do not venture past the first 3 search results?

I began telling my stylist all about the wonderful world of search engine optimization, and offered up a few pointers to get him rolling. This made me realize that there are small business in local markets everywhere that haven’t even begin exploring the possibilities of SEO. This blog post will discuss some of the tips I gave my stylist, and detail a few easy steps to begin your quest to the top.

Step 1: Get Your Business Listed In Google Places

Begin by making a Google Places account with Google +.  Then “Add A New Listing” in the options menu. They will mail you information to your physical business location with a PIN to ensure the basic information you submit is complete and accurate.  You can also verify the PIN with a phone using SMS. It could take up to a week after verification for your new business listing to appear on Google. Once signed into your Google account, in the business information column on the left side of the screen, there will be an “Edit” button underneath your business’s basic listing information. Click the Edit button to make all of the proper adjustments. You can add and remove photos, manage reviews, and post a link to your website.

Step 2: Brainstorm and List All Possible Search Queries

Now its time to get in the mind of the customer.  We need to think about what words a person searching for your local business may type into the search engines to look for your company? For my example, I came up with “Lake Mary Hair Salon”, “Lake Mary Haircuts”, “Women’s Hair Lake Mary” “Barber Shop Lake Mary”. You will also want to expand out to some surrounding towns to try and pull those potential clients as well. “Heathrow hair salon”, “Sanford hair salon” “Altamonte Springs Haircuts” . Finally, you always want to encompass your region as well – this is the most broad area surrounding your business, like “Orlando” and “Central Florida”. 

Another strategy I recommend is listing all of the major goods/services your business provides. For my example, I came up with “hair coloring”, “hair dye”, “perms” ,“blow-dry” ,“damaged hair repair”, “color treatments” “hair extensions”, “face waxing”. The list could potentially go on and on, and it differs with every niche. After you have compiled a sizable list, you will have a solid understanding of what people who could potentially be looking for your local business are searching for.

Google offers information called Google AdWords. These metrics show the most popular keywords that are relevant to your product or business and approximately how many monthly searches these keywords are getting. This service gives you good information that will allow you to reach out to your desired target audience in ways you may not have originally thought was relevant or possible!

Step 3: Analyze The Current Search Results and Scout Out Your Competition

Who is ranking for your keywords? Analyze the current Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and find out! See what those competitors are doing effectively and ineffectively. Understand and investigate and your competition. Make a list of all your competitors and see what they are doing to get into the search engines and how they were able to target their traffic.

Step 4: Fill Your Site With Unique Content About Your Products and Services

Your business offers a myriad of services, products, goods and more. What are they? I’m sure your potential customers would like to know. Take the time and write good, unique content fully detailing and describing all of the products and services your business offers. Its a good idea to incorporate some of the search queries we listed off in your content pages. For my hair stylist, I recommended writing a full page (approximately 200 words) detailing all of the major services his hair salon offers. This serves two benefits – the first, it provides a better experience for the user and lets them get to know a little bit more about your business. Second – its indexable content for the search engine crawlers! If your site features loads of good content about what your business offers, this means the search engines will have an easier time indexing your website for those very same terms!

Step 5: Take It To The Next Level and Consult An SEO Professional

After taking these steps to begin your journey to the top of the search engines, it never hurts to consult a professional SEO Agency. Most professional SEO Companies will be able to provide services outside what is attainable for the average local business owner. The list of potential ideas to help boost your search engine ranking performance is quite lengthy. Some areas where a professional agency could be of the most assistance is submitting press releases, writing guest posts for blogs in your niche, submitting to local business SEO directories, conducting webmaster outreach to other site owners in your business niche in hopes of gaining targeted backlinks, and building links with a viral and social media campaign. SEO is something all successful business must invest in at some point. This investment will definitely be profitable in the long run for your business. As your traffic and popularity increase over time, your local business will begin attracting a large audience and allow your company to thrive!

Rank Executives offers surprizingly affordable rates for local and small business SEO. Our plans are focused on proper organic SEO for small business in order to help grow your company into a local brand name.

Special Thanks To Velvet Lab Hair Studio

A shout out to our favorite Lake Mary Hair Salon, Velvet Lab Hair Studio in Lake Mary Florida, and a special thanks for letting me use your company as inspiration and  an example of how other local business all over the country stand to grow by taking the proper steps toward a perfectly optimized website. Velvetlabhairstudio.com