Whether you work in Metro Detroit, Grand Rapids, or the Upper Peninsula, you want your Michigan business to be a success. In the modern world, that requires consistent innovation and tactical internet marketing. Search engine optimization in Michigan requires careful strategizing, but with the right plan from the start, you are sure to stand out from your competition. Here are the 7 best SEO techniques for Michigan businesses so you can take advantage of your local market.
1 – Create Or Update Your Google My Business Page (Google Maps)
If you run a Google search for “plumbers in Warren MI,” the first results you see are Google Maps listings. You may only see three or four of them before websites, yellow pages, and other results display, but you should see a handful no matter what. One of the easiest and fastest ways to get your business “on the map” is to create or update your Google My Business page. This will help you show up in those top results, regardless of where your website may be on the page.
Fill out as much profile information as possible, including the business description, hours of operation, and contact information. Add links to any relevant social media profiles, and add images of your employees and services. This could be someone’s first impression of your business. Make it a good one.
2 – Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Compatible
According to a recent study from Google, 88% of smartphone owners use search engines to find local businesses. Think about how many people own a smartphone in Michigan. The vast majority of them are using their phones on a daily basis to find businesses like yours. If your web design is “dynamic,” meaning that it can adjust to fit the compact screens of smartphones and tablets, your users will have a much better experience interacting with your site. Better experience yields happier customers – which ultimately leads to more money in your pocket.
3 – Create Local Pages That Target Michigan Customers
Whether you’re creating a blog post, a service page, or a landing page for your website, try to tie it to your area somehow. For instance, if you run a roofing company in Metro Detroit, you could write blog posts about “ice dam removal for Metro Detroit winters” when snow and ice start to form. If you have a heating oil business that services rural communities in Michigan, you may create a service page for each of those towns on your site. The key is to incorporate the location into the content so Google ties your business name to the location.
4 – Market With The Weather
Because of Michigan’s distinct weather patterns, many businesses are only able to operate during certain times of the year. If you run a business like that, you may want to adjust your marketing strategies to fit your business demand. For instance, a swimming pool installer in Michigan may use SEO marketing heavily in the spring and summer months, but then cut back during the fall and winter when there is less demand for their work. You should still do some marketing during these low-demand times to maintain your Google ranking, but you can focus your aggressive marketing strategies on the times when your customers are most likely to be searching for you.
5 – Show Support For Local Sports Teams
Michigan has some of the most enthusiastic sports fans in the country, regardless of the sport in question. Use this as an opportunity to show support for the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, or local junior high and high school teams. You can make blog posts that tie your business to the team, or you could run special promotions every time your team wins the game. If you mention the team on your site, you will inevitably help your local SEO, all while showing customers that you care about their favorite players.
6 – Target Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are phrases that people may enter into a search engine. If your primary and secondary keywords are in a highly saturated market, you may be able to improve your rankings with long tail keywords that have less competition. This gives you a great chance to incorporate your target locations into your keywords, all while addressing concerns that people have. Turn the keyword into a question and answer it with a blog post on your website. Continue to work in the city or state name throughout the content, and you can add significant value to your website and your search ranking.
7 – Encourage Local Reviews
Encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Urbanspoon, and any other site connected with your industry. A survey from BrightLocal showed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. If you show up as one of the top ranked Michigan businesses for your industry, you’re going to have a much better chance at gathering leads from the internet. Combine this with the other SEO strategies listed above, and you will be dominating search results in no time.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.