Local SEO is extremely important to businesses that operate on a regional level, as opposed to being a national corporation. Standard SEO focuses on ranking in searches across the nation while local SEO helps you show up at the top of your search engine in your region.
The better your search engine optimization is the more traffic, leads, and conversions your business will receive. You can think of is as a way to compete against the national brands with unlimited resources. By focusing in on your businesses products or services you can get search engines to favor your small business over worldwide corporations if they think what you have is more relevant or convenient for your consumers. Local SEO converts 4 times higher than average website traffic.
Here are 5 ways you can be successful with your local SEO.
1. Complete and Optimize Your Google My Business Account
To start things off, you need to claim your business on Google My Business. This is a free and extremely effective way for you establish your presence on the search engine. It will also allow your business to show up on Google maps when someone is nearby or searching for your products or services. Your business won’t only appear in search results across all devices, but, when Google verifies your listing, it can also appear in the sidebar of a Google search.
To ensure your Google My Business is optimized you must:
- Verify your listing
- Provide accurate and up-to-date information
- You will need to include your logo, hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, the product or service you sell, and plenty of images
- Encourage your customers to review your business online
- Respond sincerely to customer reviews
2.Optimize Your Website for Mobile
It can be disappointing when your website is well made but not optimized for mobile. The percentage of usage between mobile and desktop has been steadily changing for years until 2017 when mobile data usage exceeded desktops. It doesn’t look like it’s going back any time soon either, especially with the United States being on the leading edge of mobile usage.
Here are some tips:
- Make sure your website loads within 3 seconds
- Use bigger fonts that are easy to read
- Use images and copy carefully, posting only the information you need (there isn’t very much room on a mobile screen)
- Make sure the user interface works properly to be sure visitors have the best experience possible
3. Hone in on Local Keywords
Your keywords should be relevant to your customers. It only makes sense, doesn’t it?
Google’s Keyword Planner helps you analyse keyword searches based on location so you can get an understanding of the popular search terms for a given area. This lets you create a list of relevant keywords that are also relevant to your area. Once you have a list of them, they should be included in your site’s meta data, copy, and URLs.
You can also mention local landmarks and popular destinations in your content. For example, if your restaurant serves dinner in New York across from Central Park, include references to “dining by Central Park” or “just steps from Central Park” on your site.
4. Take Advantage of Online Business Directories
Online business directories are websites like Yelp, Yellowpages, and, MapQuest to name a few. There are hundreds of different directories you may use.
Not only will placing your business name, address, and phone number into these directories help visibility, but it’ll also improve your local SEO. There are companies like Yext that you can use to get listed on the top directories for a yearly fee or you can manually sign your business up to most. You can do a free scan of your business listings here.
Your company listing should include the following:
- Business name, address, and phone number that is consistent across all directories
- A backlink to your website
- A description of your business
5. Get Reviews from Happy Customers
Getting your customers to write five star reviews for your business doesn’t just help with your search engine presence, it also encourages more local customers to do business with you. Bright Local highlighted that 97% of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision.
Here are some takeaways to encourage your customers to leave reviews:
- Ask for a review in person once you’ve made the sale
- Send a post-purchase email or text asking customers to write a review (as long as you know they were a happy, satisfied customer)
- Respond to existing reviews while professionally thanking reviewers and honestly addressing complaints in the not-so-favorable reviews
Now you have everything you need to get started in making sure your local SEO is optimized and get you ranking in Googles search engines. If you have any questions or would like some help with your project you can get connected below.