Smaller businesses that operate on a regional rather than national scale need local SEO. Local SEO prioritises appearing on SERPs in a particular area, while national SEO focuses on ranking 10 Ways to Improve Your Local SEOin searches around the region. This approach entails targeting local leads and consumers with your brand, products, and services.
Since the approach is more applicable to your local client base, optimising your local SEO means more website traffic, leads, and conversions. Consider this targeted approach a way to help you compete more efficiently against larger national brands with limitless budgets. You can neutralise the benefit of larger brands that consistently optimise for wider keywords and rely on brand awareness, rather than value propositions, to pull in traffic, by concentrating on unique local-SEO to-dos.
Furthermore, according to a 2017 ReviewTrackers survey, 35 percent of all search traffic is local. Your company could be missing out on a lot of traffic if you don’t invest in local SEO.
Here are the top ten ways to make your local SEO campaign a success. Note: 13 SEO Strategies for SMBs During COVID-19 has unique SEO tips for the pandemic.
1. Create a Google My Business Account
The most powerful way to rank higher on Google Maps and gain exposure in Google Search local results is to optimise your Google listing (also known as your Business Profile). However, you’ll need a Google My Business account to gain access to your Business Profile and make these changes. All of the requested information will be added to your Business Profile, which will appear in Google Search local results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps once you complete the steps in your Google My Business account dashboard.
To improve your Google Business Profile, make sure you:
- Create a Google My Company account and confirm the business’s ownership.
- Provide up-to-date and correct details.
- Include your logo, business hours, payment methods accepted, the product or service you offer, and plenty of photos.
- Encourage your customers to leave a review of your company on the internet.
- Respond to customer feedback with sincerity.
- Using the Google My Business dashboard, publish posts to your Business Profile (announcing items, activities, and special offers).
2. Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers
Getting your customers to leave positive reviews for your company not only improves your Google My Business ranking, but it also inspires more local customers to shop with you. Customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey.
Here are some suggestions for getting consumers to write reviews:
- After a transaction is completed, request a review in person.
- Send a post-purchase email or text to customers asking them to leave a review (but only after you’ve screened them with an internal survey to ensure you’re not targeting disgruntled customers).
- Respond professionally to current posts, thanking reviewers and answering feedback in negative reviews.
Note: Although Google says it’s fine to ask for feedback from users, Yelp strongly advises against it.
3. Optimize for Voice Search
In the coming years, voice search will explode. As a result, optimising for how people ask questions while speaking into devices, rather than how they type out their searches, is critical in local SEO.
When it comes to voice searches, the consumers use more long-tail keywords than when they do daily searches. As a result, you’ll need to tweak your content’s SEO to match the more conversational sound of someone speaking. You’ll need to account for common question starters, for example (who, what, when, where, why and how).
When optimising for speech, it’s also important to understand user intent, since these searches are typically conducted when the user requires detailed information. When they ask Alexa to convert tablespoons to cups while baking, they expect a fast and helpful response. If a potential customer uses voice search to inquire about your business’s hours, you should be able to provide the information quickly.
4. Create Content Based on Local News Stories or Events
Nothing beats creating content that speaks to or is specifically related to a local topic for grabbing the attention of your local customers.
The following are some examples of strategies:
- Creating blog posts based on local news, activities, or events
- Making videos about local charities or causes that your company supports is a good idea.
- If you represent different parts of an area, create location-specific webpages on your website with high-quality local material.
Assume you own a nearby real estate company. You can make separate pages for each of your places, where you can post hyperlocal content about current events or developments in the local real estate market. This technique will also assist you in obtaining a ranking for each particular position.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
The transition to mobile is happening faster than predicted, according to a 2018 Stone Temple report that looked at 2017 mobile vs. desktop patterns. Mobile website visits increased from 57 percent in 2016 to 63 percent in 2017, while desktop website visits decreased from 43 percent in 2016 to just 37 percent in 2017.
Another Acquisio study from 2017 found that traffic from local searches can be particularly profitable, with 75 percent of all mobile searches with local intent resulting in in-store, offline visits within 24 hours.
This proves that if you want to compete in local SEO, you need to customise your website for phones (and, really, for good SEO period).
Here are some pointers to help you get there:
- Ascertain that your website loads easily (no more than three seconds)
- Make your fonts larger and easier to read.
- Use photos and copy sparingly, conveying only the details you need (a smartphone screen has no space for filler!)
- Ensure a user-friendly interface for a positive UX.
6. Hone in on Local Keywords
Keywords that are applicable to local consumers should be used. It’s just normal, isn’t it?
Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to filter keyword searches by location to get an idea of the most common search terms in a specific area. This allows you to compile a list of keywords that are important to your area. They should appear in your site’s meta material, copy, and URLs once you have them.
Incorporate mentions of regional landmarks and hotspots into the material as well. Include references to “dining by the Space Needle” or “just steps from the Space Needle” on your website, for example, if your local restaurant serves dinner in downtown Seattle.
7. Use Location Pages or a Location-Specific “About Us” Page
If your company has several locations in a given region, location pages are a must. At a bare minimum, these pages must include the following:
- Hours of operation of the store
- Name, address, and contact information
- Descriptions tailored to the person
- Customer testimonials
- Promotions are available.
- Parking is accessible.
- Each location page has a Google Maps connection.
When you have several locations, be careful because each page needs unique content.
If you only have one site, it’s critical to have a “About Us” page that focuses on local, relevant information. If you own a florist store, for example, your “About Us” page is an excellent place to discuss your shop’s involvement in supplying flowers for parades in your town or city.
8. Take Advantage of Online Business Directories
Websites including Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, and YellowPages, to name a few, are examples of online business directories. There are numerous others.
Not only will having your company name, address, and phone number listed in these directories help with visibility, but it will also help with local SEO.
The following elements should be included in your company listing:
- All directories have the same accurate business name, address, and phone number.
- a link back to your site
- a detailed overview of your company
Link signals are the first- and second-most relevant factors for local pack (or snack pack) results and localised organic results, respectively, according to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors report. Backlinks pointing to your site are known as connection signals.
It’s critical to obtain links in order to improve your local SEO, but the nature of those links is also critical.
Here are a few pointers on how to obtain high-quality backlinks:
- Create high-quality content for your website so that people may want to connect to it.
- Blog on respectable blogs with a high domain authority as a guest blogger.
- To get local influencers to connect back to you, engage with them on social media or via email.
10. Create a Dedicated Webpage for Each Product/Service You Offer
Although it can be tempting to cram all of your goods or services into one large page, avoid the temptation. Instead, create a page for each distinct product or service you have.
Since search engines don’t see your brand as an expert in one particular region, putting it on one page reduces your local SEO juice. This reduces the chances of being ranked higher.
If you’re a company with a lot of locations but no separate goods or services, use location-based copy for each list. “Dental marketing,” for example, will be renamed “New York dental marketing” or “Buffalo dental marketing.”
Local SEO: More Important Than Ever
SEO evolves at a rapid pace. You never know when Google will add new features to its SERPs for local searches, but you should always expect them. That’s why it’s important to remain on top of local SEO at all times. By implementing these 10 actionable products, you will ensure that your company not only benefits from lucrative local searches, but also has a strong base for when new SEO features are added. If you don’t have the time or resources to make these changes, you may want to consider hiring a small business SEO service provider.