Want to increase your online visibility and attract more local customers? Why not try Local SEO?
Whether you’re a local business or a national company, I’m sure you’ve wished that you could get more customers from your area.
A lot of people think that it’s hard to pull off, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how to do it properly.
So, how do you do it?
How come so many people have local businesses on the web rather than via telephone books or other media?
Here’s the secret: Local search engine optimization (SEO)
It’s becoming a really important part of online marketing.
That’s why crafting a great strategy can make the difference between your online marketing success and failure.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a strategy that helps businesses become more visible in local search results on Google.
A local search engine optimization strategy can help any business with a physical location or serving a geographic area grow its customer base.
A map pack (also known as a map listing) on Google, when searched for important keywords related to your business – is what it’s really about
To gain visibility in searches, local SEO is essential for smaller businesses that operate within a particular region. This strategy involves marketing your brand, products, and services to leads and customers within a specific location
It can help you compete more effectively against larger national brands that have unlimited resources to spend.
By prioritizing local-SEO best practices, you can neutralize the advantage of bigger brands that optimize for broader keywords and rely on brand recognition to bring in traffic.
9 ways to increase the success of your local SEO
Here are nine ways you can improve your local SEO & get more visitors from Google Search.
1. Create & Optimize your Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile helps your business rise in Google searches, boosting its visibility almost immediately.
Optimizing your Google listing (called a Business Profile in Google My Business) is the most effective way to rank higher in Google Maps and local search results.
To access your Business Profile and make these optimizations, you need to sign up for a Google My Business account.
After all of the requested information is entered into your Google My Business dashboard, it will be added to your Business Profile.
Now, you can claim your listing and start cashing in on all those local leads.
2. Conduct local keyword research & optimize your content
The Google Keyword Planner tool helps you identify popular search terms in a given region. This can help you create a list of locally relevant keywords to target.
After you have them, make sure they appear in your site’s meta content, copy, and URLs.
In addition, you should include references to regional landmarks and hot spots in your content.
For example, if the local restaurant you list serves dinner in downtown Seattle, mention “dining by the Space Needle” or “just steps from the Space Needle.”
3. Ensure customer satisfaction by getting regular reviews.
Online reviews are an effective way of gaining customer trust.
A review by someone who has actually tried your product is more persuasive than just a positive or negative rating. It is important to monitor and respond to all of your reviews, especially if you operate in a local area.
Promptly reply to positive reviews and encourage customers to leave reviews via post-purchase emails.
Good reviews can lead to conversions, improved customer loyalty, and better local rankings.
Monitor and resolve issues that result in negative reviews. If a refund should be issued, do so promptly.
Even if a customer is being unfair, it’s important to remain diplomatic and professional. While speaking with them privately, try to resolve the issue in detail.
If you make a mistake, apologize to the customers in private.
4. Create the content on trending topics in your local community.
When you author content that speaks directly to local customers, you can capture their attention.
If you are a local real-estate business, you can create location-specific pages that feature hyperlocal content around news events or changes in the local real estate market.
This strategy could help you get ranked for each individual location.
Some strategies include:
- Write blog posts around local news stories, activities, or events creating videos about local charities or causes that your business supports.
- Creating location-specific webpages on your website with high-quality local content if you serve different parts of a region.
- If you serve different parts of a region, you can attract customers by setting up location-specific or regional web pages on your website and filling them with high-quality local content.
5. Always go for a mobile-friendly website
In 2016, mobile visits to websites accounted for 57% of all visits; in 2017, that number
rose to 63%. At the same time, desktop visits shrank from 43% to 37%.
This supports the idea that optimizing your website for mobile is important in local SEO.
Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Ensure that web pages load quickly (no more than three seconds). Use bigger fonts that are easy to read.
- Use images and copy sparingly, providing only the information a user needs (no room for filler on a mobile screen!).
- Create an intuitive user interface for a great user experience.
6. Make sure your website is optimized for voice search
The popularity of voice search presents a valuable opportunity for local SEO.
As voice search is still a fairly recent technology, the competition might not be as high.
Businesses can adapt their content for Google Assistant and optimize it for ranking in the Local Pack by tailoring it to written and spoken queries.
Keyword Research Tool can help you target long-tail keywords, which will help your content sound more natural.
7. Establish a unique web presence
It is tempting to combine all of your products and services into one long page but resist the urge. Instead, create a separate page for each unique product or service you offer.
If you lump all of your local SEO efforts into one page, search engines may not recognize you as an authority in a particular area. This could result in a lower ranking for your site.
If you operate multiple locations but sell the same products or services, you can use location-based copy to tailor your marketing message.
8. Build high-quality backlinks.
As a small business, you may benefit from the geographical proximity and familiarity that you share with other businesses in your area. Engaging with your local community through link-building can be an effective way to build trust and visibility.
Reach out to other players in your area, and ask them to link to your website.
This is the fastest way to gather many high-quality backlinks, and send out the strongest link signals to Google.
9. Geofencing for location-based advertising.
A geofence is a virtual perimeter that uses GPS to trigger an advertisement on a mobile device when it enters or leaves the specified area.
When you optimize your content for local-specific terms, this advanced marketing strategy is most effective.
However, it can help you get the best bang for your buck, considering that the ads will be shown to an audience likely to click on them, as they are physically close to your business.
As search engine optimization strategies change rapidly, it is important to keep up with the latest trends. You never know when Google will introduce a new feature for local searches, but you can count on these changes occurring frequently.
By implementing these nine actionable items, you can ensure that your business takes full advantage of lucrative local searches and has a solid foundation when new features are introduced.
If you lack the time or expertise to make these adjustments, you may want to consider hiring a professional Digital Marketing Company to perform an audit.