Local SEO is critical for small businesses because 46 percent of all Google searches are looking for local information. If your business doesn’t optimize for local search, you could miss out on potential customers ready to shop in your area.
Here’s a guide we’ve created to help you optimize your business for local SEO. As you gain a firm understanding of optimizing your business for local search, you will reach potential consumers.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a strategy for increasing the organic search traffic of local businesses, and to gain more knowledge, check out how to increase website traffic organically. Local SEO takes many forms, but an essential aspect of local SEO is that it increases organic traffic only from people searching in nearby areas.
Search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide users with the most relevant local results. With local SEO, businesses can target local prospects and customers via search results.
Some Local SEO Tips:
Optimize for Google My Business
Google My Business is Google’s preferred tool to help businesses meet their needs. As a result, Google feels most comfortable sharing content it can support and verify with Google My Business.
To ensure your Google My Business page is optimized, you’ll want to:
1. Please complete the information on your Business Profile
- Phone Number
2. Include Keywords
- Add local keywords or business-related keywords to improve your page visibility.
3. Upload High-resolution Photos
- High-resolution photos are key for showcasing your business to potential customers.
Ask your customers to post reviews of your business online
Reply to the reviews giving the location like “Thank you for your feedback about our [product/service] in [city, state]. We need to write: Thank you from the [full company name] team” appreciating them for the feedback.
Your business must meet Google verification standards to feature your listing.
Keeping your contact information and operating hours up-to-date will improve the experience for potential customers to find you and keep them coming back.
Adding posts and Engaging users to Google My Business
Google gives more weight to the content shared on social media now than it did before.
Now that you have created a Google My Business page with beautiful pictures, it is time to share the page across your social networks.
Make sure your name, address, and phone number are present online.
To make it easy for people and search engines to find you, include your name, address, and phone number (with area code) on every page of your website.
It is essential to include your name, address, and phone number (NAP) within the HTML of your site so search engines can crawl it. Avoid placing your NAP in your images—images cannot be crawled and indexed by search engines. The most common location for a NAP is in the footer or header of a page.
Build Online Presence in Online Directories
Apple, Yelp, Bing, Google, Trip Advisor, and other firms use a large amount of map data from India’s four major map data aggregators.
- Mobius Services
Consistency is vital: check that your citations are consistent and complete across the four most popular data aggregators to avoid omissions.
Errors in a document like misspellings, abbreviations, wrong phone numbers, or lack of suite numbers can create problems.
For example, Google will not include your business in its search results if it cannot determine which information about your business is correct. Moreover, optimize for duplicate listings and remove any that you find.
Perform a local SEO audit
After mastering the fundamentals, it may be tempting to put your foot on the brake. However, instead of stopping there or making changes and seeing what sticks to your website, a comprehensive audit will help you know where you stand and what you need to do to achieve your goals. For example, a local SEO audit may include the following:
- Google My Business Audit – Is your Google My Business profile complete?
- Citation Audit – Did you check all of your citations in the top business directories?
- Competitor Analysis – How does your website compare with your competitors’? Are there any areas you need to address to better compete in the market? For example, inbound links, content, site design, and positioning.
Other Basic Important Audits
- Google Search Console Audit – Is your site crawler-friendly? Are there any errors or issues that would hinder indexing?
- On-Page SEO Audit – Does your site meet the applicable on-page SEO requirements? check our On-Page SEO Checklist here
- Website Audit – Know more about how your website is performing
Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
While it’s ideal to have an abundance of external links pointing to your site, adjusting your internal linking structure can also increase your site’s search engine optimization rankings.
Internal links are essential to keep users interested in your site. They do the following:
- Provides site navigation.
- Check on the website hierarchy
- Distribute page authority and ranking power to individual pages.
Make sure to optimize your URLs, title tags, headers, meta description, and content
Every new blog post is a new indexed page for your site and a unique opportunity to get found in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
When creating any content for your business, you must optimize the content for search engines by using high-volume keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and body. If you need help coming up with geo-targeted content, consider highlighting customer success stories and case studies.
Add location pages to your website
If you have multiple brick-and-mortar locations, create location pages for each store. Each page should include the address, phone number, hours of operation, unique descriptions of the store, information about nearby parking or public transportation, promotions, and testimonials from your customers.
It is essential to avoid duplicating content across multiple location pages. For single-location businesses, create an About Us page with simple content to reach the users. This page should include a Google Map; you will get big-time bonus points to add one to your website.
Other Ways to Optimize for Local SEO
Google search results have changed over time, making it possible to maximize content creation by writing for users, not search engines. For example, writing about general topics will attract a vast crowd. Still, sometimes it’s more effective to focus and write about local or industry news to attract a local audience.
Blogging can effectively establish you as an industry expert by providing top-of-the-funnel content, such as information on industry events, company news, and employee announcements.
Marketing to businesses that are new to an area can be tricky, so if you’re a local security company, you might want to create a helpful resource for these businesses. You could do this by creating a map or calendar with contact information for local service providers or city-wide event listings.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
Local search and mobile search are closely linked. The most common ways people use mobile websites include looking for reviews, directions, and contact information. For example, mobile searches for “near me” increased 250 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Make your website mobile-friendly to help your prospects and customers more easily access your offerings.
Get inbound links with relevance and authority
Inbound links are opportunities to boost local SEO. They can also raise domain authority, thus increasing your company’s visibility and reach.
Few tips to get inbound links:
- Sponsorships or partnerships can be a great way to reach new customers.
- Guest blog posting is one way to get your website and brand into the spotlight.
Partner with local business people, community members and organizations, and influencers to increase your chances of being featured in their partner directory. Also, consider sponsoring a webinar or meet-up to attract like-minded people to your partnership.
Being a guest blogger for other sites is an excellent way to attract links. Talk about other people in your industry and act as a resource for the community. Active conversations can lead to social media growth, increased exposure, and links.
- Participate in your local community
Engaging with the local community builds both brand and inbound links. For instance, partnering with a nonprofit on a campaign, hosting or attending an event, and appearing as an expert in the local media is all ways to build buzz and inbound links.
For example, to maximize your domain authority, why not earn links by featuring a scholarship in your geographic region? It should be relevant to your industry and send the right signals to your domain.
Local SEO is a part of any SEO strategy for local businesses with storefronts or service areas. Local SEO will help build your company’s visibility on the internet, especially in your area.
We are here to give you more details on Local SEO and its tools to help you understand your local business. Contact us for further assistance.