The internet can be a great source of leads for your local business. However, most business owners have lackluster SEO strategies, or they don’t even have one, to begin with. If you’re not placing an importance on local SEO, then you can bet your competitors are.

Ranking your Virgina Beach business doesn’t have to be difficult, but you do need an SEO plan in place. Below we’ll take a look at five things you can do to improve your local rankings and send more local leads to your website.

1. Use Local Directories and Citations

There are hundreds of different local listings and citation websites. Having your business on these will not only help you rank higher, but it’ll help more customers find your website. You can start with local groups like your Chamber of Commerce and other local listing sites related to your business.

Once your business is listed across these local sites you can branch out to larger directories, like Yelp, Bing Places, Yahoo! Listings, Angie’s List, and more. For a full list of 50 different local listings sites, you can submit your business to, check out this list.

It’s also important that all of your citations and business listings are consistent across your business name, address, and phone number. You can use this tool from Moz, to double-check that your information is the same.

2. Optimize Your Google My Business Page

The Google My Business directory is probably the most important listing. By claiming and optimizing this listing you’ll be doing your business a huge favor. The Google My Business results are often some of the first results to show up when your people search for a local keyword related to your business.

You can claim your business listing here. Google will send you a postcard in the mail, so you can verify your listing.

With your listing verified you’ll want to complete your listing by filling in your description, choosing the right categories and services, and making sure your address, and business hours are accurate.

3. Get More Local Reviews

Online reviews are incredibly important. Not only will they help potential customers decide whether or not they want to work with you. But, they can influence your rankings as well. The most important places to have your customer’s leave reviews are on your Google My Business page and your business’s Facebook page.

The total number of reviews you have isn’t a specific ranking factor, but having a ton of positive reviews will increase the number of people who click through to your business, which will influence your rankings.

4. Source Local Backlinks

Even with all of the above in place, it’s still important to seek out local backlinks. This will help to increase your domain authority and your site will be seen as more valuable in the eyes of Google.

Getting local backlinks doesn’t have to be time intensive either. If you have a supply of local vendors or business you regularly work with, see if they will include a link back to your site on their partner page, or something similar.

You can even do things like creating a locally-based scholarship for students in your community. Or, become a sponsor for a local organization that will link back to you on their donor’s page.

5. Take Care of On-Site SEO

Optimizing your site the right way will help to tell Google what your site is actually about. You don’t have to go overboard by stuffing your copy and blog posts with local keywords, but there are a few important elements you should optimize.

  • Include your location and a potential keyword inside your site’s title.
  • Optimize your meta description to include locally-relevant keywords.
  • Make sure you have up to date location and business hours that are consistent with your citation and directory listings.
  • Include local landmarks and other indicators that relate to your physical business location.

Hopefully, the above tips will transform your existing SEO strategy and help your start to rank higher in the search engines. If you’re interested in taking your rankings even higher, then get in touch with our local Virginia Beach SEO team today.

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