The most important thing for great SEO results is your content. Next come your links. But you may have other assets that can make a difference for your website’s performance. One of the most valuable elements is your local stature.
The internet levels the playing field for small companies and new companies — a great website can make you look just as legit as the company that’s been in your space for a decade, even if you just opened your doors last week. But if you are the company that has been around for a decade, you can take advantage of that fact to get better results.
How can search engines recognize your local stature?
How are search engines going to realize that you’re kind of a big deal in your community? They look for things that established companies tend to have:
- an old domain
- lots of local links
- lots of local citations
- plenty of reviews
- local news presence
- a clear physical location
- visible community involvement
Check your website, Google your company, and look over your social media. Do you see these things?
If you’ve been around for years but you haven’t made these connections yet, get on it. We often see websites that give us one idea about a new client, and then we meet with them and discover that they are a much more important company than we realized from their online presence. Make sure that your website reflects your organization’s stature.
Get IRL connections online.
It may be that you’re listed in all the local business directories, but your listings don’t include your website, and so you don’t have those valuable links. Chances are good that every single one of those directories will add a link if you ask them.
And maybe you volunteer and sponsor local events. If it’s not online, though, then from the search engine’s point of view it didn’t happen. Have your web team include these occasions in your social media and most importantly at your blog so you can spread the word.
Make connections, too. Comment on other mentions of events, share other people’s pictures in your Instagram stories, be as friendly online as you are in the physical world.
Build community connections.
If you haven’t been that friendly in the physical world, think about ways that you could participate in local events. Imagine a vet’s office that sets up pet water dishes at community events, takes and posts pictures of Trick or Treaters who bring their costumed pet along, or shares information about dog ticks and related human diseases at a community health fair.
These kinds of events can give you plenty to talk about in your social media and on your website. They can actually build local stature, too.
Can you fake it?
Are you the new kid on the block? Go ahead and work on all these things. You won’t be the new kid forever, and making an effort to build a strong online presence will actually build that strong online presence over time.
Since search engines like Google look for things that established companies usually have, making sure that you have these things makes you look more established and more credible.
But if you’ve actually been around for a while, you have an important head start. Take advantage of it. Haden Interactive can show you how.