Local search has been Google’s baby lately and while they are on a full push to make sure users get great results, small businesses in Tampa are feeling the effects of stiff competition in the local SEO space.
Local directories and the coveted space that Google lists for the companies on the map near you are becoming increasingly hard to rank for unless companies keep working on them. The “3-Pack”, as it’s known, used to be the “5-pack” of companies “near you” that related to your search.
Now Google Business allows a greater potential for engagement with customers through a variety of methods in the local search space. In Tampa, businesses can post directly to their local listing for news, events and even specials. They can also post images and other additional items. Google DOES keep track of the businesses who are actually using the features and while it is tight-lipped about rankings, it appears that it favors those who are trying to actively engage customers.
This is a big thing in the Tampa SEO market. Many companies are paying to have their businesses “set up” in Google Business with listings, images, and even 360 video. Most companies do see a boost from this effort. However, after the initial success, the magic starts to fade and many businesses in competitive markets (Like Tampa, and Orlando), find they drop out of the rankings. If you are going to pay to have the listing done, budget for upkeep or assign someone in your organization to be religious about posting and updating.
Then, a business needs to move on to increasing Tampa SEO rankings by gaining positive feedback on Google from real customers. This might be a reminder at your store. Just make sure you don’t violate Google’s terms of service for getting them!
Additionally, you need to optimize content for your local SEO work. We often do this for our posts and encourage this with our customers. Instead of saying things about “Tampa SEO”, you include wording like “Best SEO in Tampa Near East Jackson Street”. Create specific language that distinguishes you from the competition on a local level. You can even use landmarks near your location. Talk about ways of contacting you or visiting your store in ways that BOTH people and search engines will connect with. “Come see us for a free consultation and we can go to Malio’s Prime Steakhouse afterward to celebrate working together!” It may seem a little kitschy, but it works with both search engines and people if you do it consistently.
This is especially true if you are not a national company and only have one location near Tampa.
Do some investigating on events happening near you and use them to tie in what you are offering. Interview your local customers and put them on the blog as stories of success working with you. This goes beyond just blog posts. What can you create as giveaway items that might help people? “Dave’s Plumbing Tampa Gasparilla Public Bathroom Map”, might just be what gets downloaded the most of what you give away! Have a FAQ section on your site that deals with some of the concerns local consumers have; “Will Tampa laws let me install central air in my shed off Kennedy Boulevard?”.
If you would like to learn more things you can do to help your local business near Tampa, let us know and we can have a Free strategy session where you get advice without a sales pitch! Learn more about Tampa SEO.