St Louis SEO Specialists – Help Google find your local business

As a small St. Louis business owner and marketer, you need to let Google know where you are located and what you have to offer so you’re not only showing up on Google search engine results more frequently, but you’re showing up in front of the eyes of a very your target customer.

Unfortunately, local SEO is somewhat of a confusing topic and always has been. It’s tough to know where to even begin. You have to ask yourself: What are some must-have SEO strategies when it comes to local SEO?

If you’re not sure where to start and need some help – drop us a line or call to talk about how Web Brand Genie can help your local St. Louis business can get found on Google.

Here are some easy tips to get you started:

1. Create Local St. Louis Places Pages.

Of course, the first step is making sure that you have a local business page for all three major search engines (meaning you’ll have three different listings and dashboards to manage). You can visit here for Bing and here for Yahoo  to get started. You can visit here to get started with Google. All you will need to do is fill out your business information such as location, phone number, hours, etc. and then you’ll be all set with an account.

2. Optimize and Properly Categorize Your Page.

First, optimizing your local pages means uploading a good amount of quality photos, detailing your hours of operation, and listing the services offered.

Second, categorizing your business correctly is actually one of the most crucial steps to optimizing for local search. Several local search engines offer you the ability to place your business into 2-5 categories to help them understand what your business does. According to Moz Local, search engines will “not display a business that is not categorized.

The Moz Local, tool is awesome to take a look at how Google sees your local business on the web, and has an in dept listing of relevant search directories. This is time-consuming – and well worth the effort.

3. Accurate Business Citations.

You need to make sure all of your information is filled out and you have consistent Name, Address, Phone data for your company across all listings. It is possible that your business is already listed somewhere by someone else, but don’t panic! All you need to do is claim this listing, often referred to also as a citation.

You can claim a citation by first looking to see if there is another business by the same name with the same location. A few tips:

Use a tool like  Localeze to help see where your company’s local listings are found online.

Consider using Google MapMaker to search for your business and phone number to help you see if there are any duplicate listings.

Search for various names of your business. If you already have a listing created, that information is gathered from around the web so it could be incorrect!

You will have to verify that you are the owner of your business either by email, phone, or possibly traditional mail. Services such as Yext and Localeze can also speed up this process because they can also help you create these citations or make them more uniform so that all of your local information on the web is accurate.

4. Online Reviews.

According to a study published on Search Engine Land, Google looks at reviews as a major factor for ranking on the new carousel design.  Reviews are quick and easy ways for consumers to decide which link they want to click. Below is a screenshot of some of the reviews you’ll see right on a SERP:

Fortunately, there are many different ways to improve your number of reviews. You don’t want to have any fake reviews or offer any gifts for those giving you reviews (you want them to be natural), but you can put a button on your webpage so it’s easy to get started for visitors, prompt visitors to leave a review after purchasing something or visiting a particular landing page, or actually talk with people in your store or company about leaving a review.

5. Quality Photos.

This point goes back to optimizing your listing, but it’s so important it deserves its own number. When people are searching for local businesses, they want to see photos. Most local accounts including Google+ Local allow you to upload at least 10 pictures. Your goal should try to be to have that many photos uploaded. It’s also important to take photos of your actual building, both inside and out, and even take pictures of your products. Your logo does work, but it’s always best to have an actual picture of the company building as your main photo.

All you have to do to upload photos is visit your local listing and click a little link that says “add photos.”

6. Optimize Your Website.

Part of local search is your actual website as well as what is being said about your site around the web—it’s not just your local listings and pages. Make sure you have your contact information and preferably a phone number somewhere on your website. It’s also important to try and include city or regional keywords wherever possible and write content that is specific to your local area.

Have you gotten started with local SEO? We are St Louis SEO specialists. Contact us for a SEO consultation and get found on Google.