Should You Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce for Local SEO?
Chambers of Commerce are organizations that bring local business owners together. They provide networking opportunities and can help you find business partners. They also play an important part in fostering the local economy, creating jobs, providing training opportunities, and more.
There are plenty of reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce in terms of growing your business and learning more about entrepreneurship. There are also some important local SEO benefits to consider.
What Does it Mean to Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce?
There are around 4,000 Chambers of Commerce in the U.S. with at least one full-time employee and many more that volunteers run.
Your city or township should have a Chamber of Commerce, but you can also find statewide chambers if you’re looking to join a larger organization.
Once you become a member, you’ll have access to meetings, networking events, educational programs, and more.
You’ll be able to bring your ideas to the table during meetings and will have a say in what the chamber does to promote the local business scene.
Why Should You Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce?
Networking is a major benefit of joining your local Chamber of Commerce. You’ll get to meet other business owners in your area and will be able to learn from them. You could even find new suppliers and partners.
The perks vary from one organization to another. Some chambers have programs that encourage members to give discounts to each other, while some have referral programs.
As a business owner, you probably read industry publications to keep up with business trends. Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great source of information for keeping up with local trends.
Your Chamber of Commerce could play an important role in shaping the local business scene, for instance, by supporting legislation from your local government. Having a voice in these matters is important.
SEO Benefits of Joining Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Google uses hundreds of ranking factors. For small businesses, especially those who focus on a local audience, mentions in business directories and review sites are an important ranking factor.
A business directory is a great way of getting backlinks to your website, but they’re also a way of getting some traffic.
While there are many directories you can use like Yelp or Foursquare, a business listing from your local Chamber of Commerce is more likely to attract local users. It will also generate traffic from users who will have longer sessions on your site and who may consider a purchase.
Google will interpret this behavior as a signal that your site is a good option for local search results. Some Chambers of Commerce even let users write online reviews or encourage users to leave Google reviews for its members.
Plus, if there are any other local directories in your area, they will probably use data from your chamber website and include your business due to your commerce membership.
Your NAP or Name Address Phone needs to be consistent for SEO reasons. You should include your NAP on your website, in your schema markup, and on your social media profiles.
Search engines like Google, Bing Places, or Yahoo! look for consistent NAP. Consistent NAP tells search engines that your business is real and that your contact information is accurate. Mismatched NAP is likely to result in a poor user experience, which is why search engines will show your content lower in search results to prioritize businesses with consistent NAP.
A lot of online directories use data available on the web to create auto-generated listings for your business. NAP can be inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated.
Because your Chamber of Commerce operates on a smaller scale, you’ll have the opportunity to submit your NAP when you apply for your membership. You’ll be able to contact the Chamber directly if you need to have this information updated. Your Chamber will create a local listing with accurate NAP that will benefit your search engine optimization campaign.
Backlinks matter for your local SEO campaign, but the source of these links is also essential. A site with high authority carries more weight when it links to your content.
Your local Chamber of Commerce has excellent authority for sharing information about businesses in your city, township, or county. Google will see any backlinks from the official website of your local Chamber of Commerce as a high-quality link and the landing page could rank higher in SERPs or even result in a recommendation via Google Local Pack if a local customer is looking for nearby businesses.
Link Sharing Opportunities
Link sharing opportunities is another SEO benefit of joining your local Chamber of Commerce. You could exchange links with other local businesses through a referral program or loyalty incentives.
In some areas, local banks and credit unions partner with small businesses to offer perks and rewards that are interesting for their target audience. If a local bank wants to launch one of these programs, it will probably reach out to the Chamber of Commerce. It could be an opportunity to get a quality backlink and traffic from the site of a local financial institution.
Social Media Shares
During networking events, forming connections with other business owners will make them more likely to share your content on social media. You can return the favor as long as your keyword research efforts and your local market analysis don’t reveal that you’re competing against these businesses.
Plus, platforms like Facebook will often recommend similar pages to users based on their interests. If a user likes the page of another local business, they might see a recommendation or your page if you share each other’s content or shared the same posts about chamber events.
You can even engage in some fun banter with other local businesses to get more mentions and provide your audience with some entertaining content.
Getting more shares on social media will increase your visibility and help you get more traffic. You’ll get a better ROI for your digital marketing efforts like blogging, and Google might rank your content prominently on SERPs via social media results.
Your chamber membership will allow you to participate in a number of programs and events. You might end up supporting a local non-profit, sponsor a local sports team, or organize cleanup efforts for a local park.
These things will draw coverage from local news outlets and result in a mention from a local result. It’s a great way to get a local citation on a page full of local keywords.
A link to your location page could bring in more traffic and more customers, and a local news story could help you get a link on a search result that pops up when users click on the news tab in Google.
Chambers of Commerce sometimes have a calendar for local events. If you have a business with recurring or one-time events like sales, food tasting, classes, workshops, webinars, or product launches, you could get these things listed as a local event.
When a potential customer looks for things to do in their area, Google will likely return a result block with information about upcoming events. Ask if your local Chamber of Commerce takes part in the event search experience on Google to make sure the search engine will show this content to users.
If you ask an SEO expert, they will tell you that chamber membership is well worth it. It’s something that can help your local SEO strategy with inbound links, local traffic, and visibility. Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to partner with businesses and participate in events that will receive some local coverage and online mentions.
For help boosting your local SEO efforts, schedule a consultation call with us today!
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