Search engine optimization for local businesses doesn’t have to be confusing.
In fact, there are many free plugins available that can help make things a little easier.
You don’t necessarily even need to hire someone that is an expert on SEO.
What you really need is a great content writer who can produce quality engaging content and include your long-tail keywords + city keywords.
Just make sure to have the basics of SEO nailed down before tackling content so you aren’t going back and redoing things.
Alt tagging images, using the proper permalink structure setting, limiting descriptive URLs to 5 words or less, having fast pagespeeds (tinypng.com your images), and the list goes on. These things are simple enough to do.
With some practice you too can be on your way to experiencing free traffic on the top of Google.
Rather than relying on off-page SEO techniques alone, it is important for websites to have meaningful content.
Off-page backlinking techniques alone may work in the short-term but rarely ever work in the long-run.
Having great content and giving search engines context to what your website is about and why it deserves to show should be a priority.
Something that can greatly benefit local businesses is having great website architecture. In SEO lingo we use the term ‘silo.’
Internally linking pages within the website in a specific way helps organize to organize what the website is about and pass link juice through the site.
A good silo structure on a domain with no backlinks or off-page work can still rank well and isn’t as likely to get swept away by an algorithm change.
Backlinks are still important and can still rank websites done properly however it is best to start with a solid on-page SEO strategy.
Everything works better when a good on-page strategy is happening in conjunction with a good off-page strategy.
If your website has not had SEO work performed and the link diversity is minimal then you should be wary of any SEO that doesn’t make any changes to what is on the site.
If all they are doing is sending anchor text links back to your website there is a chance that your website will be deindexed or receive a manual penalty down the road.
By that time the person who claimed to know what they were doing will probably be gone and you are stuck with zero traffic.
With regards to SEO silo structure, if you have an EMD (exact match domain) then it is better not to include the location/city keyword again in the URL as you risk over-optimizing your website. Google doesn’t like spammy techniques.