Each year, millions of business create websites, which is good, because in this increasingly digital age, search engines have become the primary means by which customers locate businesses and service providers. To avoid getting lost among millions of other search results, you must have search engine optimization (SEO) practices in place. For business owners targeting local customers, SEO is even more important for ranking before competitors.

Here are five SEO tips for generating more leads and phone calls for your business:

1. Optimize Your Site and Ads for Mobile

First and foremost, ensure your website design is responsive. People use mobile devices to perform online searches more often than desktop computers. If the majority of users online can’t navigate your site or access your information—you’re hurting your bottom line.

In addition to optimizing for mobile, ensure your site has effective landing pages for each geographic location you service. If you want customers to reach you, your landing pages should clearly display:

  • Business’s name and relevant contact info, such as address, email and phone number (a.k.a. your NAP)
  • Store hours
  • Directions and/or link to map
  • A list of services and/or products
  • Links to your social media profiles
  • URL and page title
  • Meta descriptions and/or meta tags with location keywords

Another thing you can do to generate more phone calls is use call-extension-only ads where any click dials a phone number rather than going to a landing page. With Google’s click-to-call, you can effortlessly move prospects using their smartphones from online search to a live conversation.

2. Maintain Consistency Across Online Directories

Your website isn’t the only way to reach customers online. Potential customers and search engine crawlers will find your business information through online directories, such as Yelp, Google+ and Tripadvisor. If your business shows up on a directory, the information presented, including your NAP, should be consistent with your website.

While it is time consuming, take the opportunity to create a business listing on each of the relevant directories in your industry. Ensure you categorize your business appropriately to improve your rank in search queries.

3. Create Content for Local Audiences and Promote It

Create content that appeals to the needs, values and wants of local customers. Redefine your target audience and focus your content efforts on reaching customers in each geographic locale you service, then promote it on social media for maximum impact. Share your content across multiple social media platforms with these best practices in mind:

  • Regularly update your social media
  • Engage with your followers
  • Create a brand image and stick to it

4. Encourage Customer Reviews

Local customers are more likely to purchase from a business or service provider with multiple customer reviews, and search engines also take reviews into account when ranking your website. To have a positive effect on SEO, reviews should be done frequently. The following are a few ways to encourage reviews and improve your SEO:

  • Encourage customers to leave reviews immediately
  • Offer incentives for reviews
  • Have an easy review process

5. Track Your Progress, Evaluate and Revise

As with other investments, you won’t be able to measure the return on your SEO strategy until you have the tools and methods in place for tracking. You easily can track your progress with built-in metrics (if applicable) or Google Analytics.

Analytics tools provide you with useful information about your bounce rate, which links are most effective for lead generation, as well as which of your local keywords are being used to find your business. When you have a clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t, you can make adjustments to your SEO strategy and improve your online marketing. If the idea of trying to figure out analytics on a website seems overwhelming, you can always find an amazing SEO firm right here in Utah to help you out.

For more information on how to improve your local marketing strategy, become a member of the Utah AMA.