Local SEO is essential to help small businesses fight for digital space against more prominent brand names. It levels the playing field and lets small businesses grow.
Nearly half of all Google searches are local, and around 69% of web traffic comes from organic and local searches. To increase your chances of converting leads into actual customers, place your focus on local SEO.
This guide will discuss which local SEO strategy can help improve your rankings and drive more sales for your business.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online content to be more visible in local search results. This includes optimizing your website for keywords related to your brand in your geographic area. It can be beneficial for businesses with physical stores as improving search rankings can increase their search results and attract more visitors to their websites.
Having a Local SEO Strategy: Why It’s Important
Optimizing local search for your business is an excellent tool for converting traffic into actual leads. A whopping 83% of users rely on Google search to check enterprises near them, while 76% of those who get local search results immediately visit the physical store within 24 hours.
Not only does local SEO boost sales, but it also helps establish credibility and authority for your website among your targeted users.
Top 12 Local SEO Strategy Tips
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of using local SEO for your business, don’t worry! Having the right strategies in place will help your efforts pay off.
Here are 12 local SEO strategy tips to get you started:
Claim or Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Google My Business is an online directory that provides users with accurate information about local businesses. Your business may automatically have a listing within a year of launching. Although this is helpful, the automated listing can have errors, so it is essential to optimize your GMB listing.
Here’s how to do it:
- Post your listing after completing all the required information
- Upload photos and videos of where your business is located
- Include your product listings in your profile. You can also promote new products as one way to optimize GMB listing.
- Encourage reviews and ratings and directly interact with users.
- Update the listings monthly and monitor them weekly.
Including all relevant information in your listing optimizes your profile and makes it easier for users to find you.
Increase Your Citations in Online Directories
To maximize traffic for both online and in-store, make sure to mark all territories in all the big map data aggregators like Apple, Google, Yelp, and Bing. Your goal should be to land in the top 5 results on Google, as it usually accounts for most user click-through rates.
Get the most out of online directories by ensuring the information you provide is consistent and accurate and avoid duplicate listings. You can also apply for a Chamber of Commerce membership in your community, giving you access to an external inbound link created for your area.
Perform a Local SEO Audit For Your Website
Your next step should be to compare your website to the competition’s to ensure yours is as good or even better. You can use free tools and analyzers like Google Analytics or Publer to help with your audit. Identify your target keywords to compare your website’s top results on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Encode everything, from the types of content and elements to keywords and website layout in a spreadsheet to keep track of all your audits.
Identify and Target Local Keywords
Local businesses can utilize increased website traffic by targeting keywords related to their location. “Near me” search terms can increase from 150 to over 900%, making it a key focus for local businesses. By identifying and targeting these local keywords, businesses can boost their website traffic and visibility.
You can identify keywords within 10 to 15 miles of your business using Google’s Keyword Planner tool. This tool allows you to filter location-based keyword searches to see popular searches in your area. The Keyword Planner also provides a list of relevant keywords to target for your local business to include in your site’s content, copy, and URL.
Optimize for Mobile
Most shoppers use smartphones, so your local business needs a mobile-friendly website. Creating a good user experience will keep local searchers scrolling on your site.
Here’s how to make your site optimized for mobile:
- Page display must be fast and responsive
- Fonts should be readable with short paragraphs and subheadings
- Write-ups should have a structured text format with white space
- The website should have relevant images and appropriate media display
To make a mobile-friendly site, you don’t have to be a web developer. All you need to do is research how to make a responsive site and take inspiration from specific mobile-friendly features of successful brands.
Encourage Reviews from Happy Customers
Great reviews from happy customers are an excellent way to win over new customers. Ensure you get the most out of your customers by claiming your Google My Business profile and other online business listings to encourage reviews.
Incentivize customers to leave reviews by offering them discounts or freebies, as this can help improve your store’s online presence and build trust with potential customers. Be sure to respond to all reviews, good or bad, to show that you are engaged with your customers.
Create Relevant Local Content
To make your content more relevant to your target audience, localize it. Produce a blog post, release a press statement, or create a separate landing page that connects with your community.
Offer insights about your local community, help promote local events or offerings, and partner with local organizations. Relate your brand’s value to make your content as natural as possible. Consider creating content that goes beyond what your business sells.
Focus on High-Quality Backlinks
A backlink is a link from a third-party website that leads back to your site. Backlinks from high-quality websites can positively impact your website’s ranking and authority, which is especially important for local businesses.
To start building high-quality backlinks to your local business:
- Partner with top-ranking websites and offer guest posts on your site
- Participate in outreach activities and influencer engagement
- Track brand mentions through social listening
- Produce relevant and shareable content
The key to an effective backlink content strategy is writing long-form content that is fluff-free, relevant, and high-quality.
Create Location-Based Pages
If you have more than one business location, it can be helpful to create location-based pages. You can include the store name, location, contact details, operating hours, and a unique store description. You can even insert testimonials from satisfied customers who have visited that location.
If you only have one store in a specific location, make your ‘About Us’ page more interesting by including trivia about the area. You can also include a Google Map of the area, as this can help you get the best results.
Make Your Website Google Search-Friendly
Aside from optimizing your business listings and content, pay attention to your page structure to boost your search ranking, which includes optimizing title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and URLs. In terms of content, every new blog post is an opportunity to create a new indexed page, target a local search phrase, and appear higher in the SERPs.
If you want to optimize your “near me” local searches, try adding some high-volume keywords to your page structure. Including case studies and customer success stories can also help give you some ideas for geo-targeted content.
Add Google Business Profile Posts and Get on Social Media
Social media is an effective tool for promoting local businesses’ Google My Business listings. Your social media profile can help keep your customers aware of the latest sales, events, and changes to your business, such as product availability and store schedules.
Most Facebook users visit local business pages at least once a week.
Here’s how to make the most out of your social media strategy:
- Stay active on your preferred channel
- Keep posting quality and relevant content
- Explore scheduling and automation tools to maximize engagement
- Make online shopping convenient for your customers
A solid social media presence can significantly impact small businesses, even if it doesn’t immediately increase sales or web traffic.
Participate in Local Community Events
In addition to online strategies, participating in local events can help improve your local SEO. By attending these events, you can organically connect with your audience and get to know your local community, which can ultimately help promote your brand.
There are many ways to gain media exposure and brand awareness for your business. You can sponsor events, join larger community events, partner with organizations, or become a panelist or industry expert in local news. You can increase your visibility and reach a wider audience by taking advantage of these opportunities.
There’s no denying the importance of local SEO for businesses. By optimizing their websites and Google Business Profiles for local search, businesses can make it easier for nearby customers to find them online and visit their stores. Building a small business takes patience, but incorporating local SEO best practices can help it flourish.
Maximizing Local SEO strategies for your businesses can:
- Target the right audience for your business
- Convert leads to actual customers
- Increase brand awareness and exposure
- Connect with your local community
- Build genuine relationships with your customers
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