Local SEO is essential for businesses which operate on a regional level. 35% of all search traffic is local so without local SEO, your business could be losing out on a significant amount of traffic. Rather than focusing more on ranking in searches across the country, local SEO prioritizes appearing on result pages in a specific location. This strategy relies on marketing your brand, products, and services specifically to local leads and customers.
For your business, optimizing your local SEO means more website traffic, leads, and conversions as the strategy is more relevant to your base of local customers. Look at this strategy to help you compete against larger national brands that have more means to spend on their marketing than you. By focusing on this specific list of boosting tips, you can equalize the lead of bigger brands that optimize for broader keywords and rely on brand recognition on a consistent basis.
Create a Google My Business Account
Optimizing your Google Business Profile could be the most effective way to rank higher as well as gain visibility in Google Search results. To get access to your Business Profile to make these optimizations, you need a Google My Business account associated with that profile. Once you provide all the requested information in your account dashboard, all that information will be added to your Business Profile. This information appears in Google Search local results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps. To optimize your profile, ensure that you: provide accurate and up-to-date information, include your logo, hours of operation, the product or service you sell, plenty of images, post regularly and encourage your customers to review your business online.
Get Regular Reviews
When your customers write stellar reviews for your business, it doesn’t just optimize your Google presence, it also encourages more people to buy from you. 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s a huge number! Some things you can consider which can encourage customers to leave reviews include asking for a review in person after a sale, sending a post-purchase email or text, or respond to existing reviews in a professional way. Thank reviewers and address complaints in not-so-favorable reviews.
Optimize for Voice Search
Since the popularity of smart speakers, voice search has been growing rapidly. Therefore, in local SEO, it’s vital to optimize for how people ask questions when they speak into devices. Essentially, your customers use more long-tail keywords when doing voice searches compared with regular search. Because of this, your SEO of your content needs to fit the more conversational tone of someone speaking. It’s also important to consider user intent when optimizing for voice. These searches are most often performed when the user needs a specific piece of information. Let’s just say that you’re baking and ask Alexa to convert tablespoons to cups. You’re going to expect a quick and useful answer. A potential customer could use voice search to ask what your business’s hours are. You’ll want to make sure that the information is there and readily available when they need it.
Create Trendy, Relative and Relevant Content
Content that speaks or relates directly to a local issue is always sure to grab your local customers’ attention. You want any content that you post to be relatable to your demographic and trendy. This always helps to increase engagement. Between GIFs, memes, Facebook Live and everything else, the options for your content are endless. But you want to have a content strategy in place that is well thought out. Do you want new customers to discover you? Do you want to increase traffic to your business? By keeping your strategy specific, you can determine what content will work best for you. Some additional content strategies you could focus on include writing blog posts or creating videos about your business or causes that your business supports.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Your business’ website should be mobile-friendly, which is also known as a “responsive” design. Google, and other search engines, are said to prioritize mobile-friendly sites in search results, so ensuring your site displays well on mobile devices is incredibly important to local SEO. Traffic from local searches can be lucrative with 75% of all mobile searches that exhibit local intent producing in-store, offline visits within 24 hours. This confirms that you must optimize your website for mobile to be a player in local SEO. To achieve this, ensure your website loads quickly, use larger and easier top read fonts and use images and copy sparingly, conveying only the information you need.
Use Local Keywords
Your keywords should be relevant to local customers. Google’s Keyword Planner lets you filter keyword searches based on location, so you get an idea of the popular search terms for a given region. This lets you create a list of locally relevant keywords to target. Once you have them, they should make appearances in your site’s meta content, copy, and URLs. Also, include mentions of region-specific landmarks and hotspots in your content. For example, if your local restaurant is located in the downtown of a city, include references to “dining by (special attraction)” or “just steps from (special attraction)”.
Use Location Pages or a Location-Specific “About Us” Page
Location pages are a must if your business has more than one location in an area. These pages need to provide the following:
- Store hours
- Name, address, and phone number
- Individualized descriptions
- Parking availability
- Google Maps attached to each location page
Take care when you have multiple locations, because you need to create unique content for each page. If you only have one location, creating an “About Us” page that focuses on local, relevant information is essential.
Take Advantage of Online Business Directories
Online business directories are websites like Yelp, Foursquare, Hotfrog, and Cylex. There are many more. Not only will getting your business name, address, and phone number into these directories help visibility, but it’ll also boost your local SEO. Your company listing should include the following basics and be consistent across all platforms:
- Business name
- Address and phone number
- A backlink to your website
- A thorough description of your business
Get High-Quality Backlinks
Link signals are the first- and second-most important factors for localized organic results. Link signals are backlinks pointing to your site. It’s vital to get links to boost your local SEO, but their quality is also equally important. How do you do that?
- Create high-quality content on your site so others want to link to your content
- Guest blog on reputable sites with a high domain authority
- Engage with local influencers on social media or by email to get them to link back to you
Create a Dedicated Webpage for Each Product/Service You Offer
While it can be tempting to just combine all your products or services together in one page, try not to. Instead, dedicate one page to each unique product or service you offer. Your local SEO isn’t as powerful if you lump everything into one page because search engines tend not to see your brand as an authority in one specific area. This lowers your ranking possibilities.
SEO changes quite rapidly. You never know when Google will introduce new features on its pages for local searches. But you can be sure that they will happen as Google is always updating. That’s why it’s essential to always stay on top of local SEO. By implementing these actions, you will ensure that your business doesn’t just take advantage of important local searches but also has a solid foundation when new SEO features are introduced. You may want to consider performing an SEO audit on your business to see where your digital assets line up. And if you don’t have the ability to make these adjustments yourself, which is very common, you may want to consider reaching out to a dependable marketing agency like Crunch Fource for help.