Google claims that 4 out of 5 people use search engines to conduct local searches.
In other words, a lot of people are searching online for businesses in their vicinity. So, if you own a local business and yet, you don’t invest in a local SEO strategy, you’re missing out an opportunity to dominate the SERPs and hook the attention of your target audience.
But, what is local SEO? Most importantly, how it differs from some traditional SEO practices?
Well, local SEO is similar to organic SEO, but with an added geographical feature. Simply put, it helps you rank higher in the SERPs for local searches. Most importantly, it drives more traffic to your site and boosts your revenue.
Let’s see how to build a local SEO strategy that works for your business.
1.Optimize your Site Properly
Your website is your first and last line of defense. And, if it is not properly optimized for search engines, you won’t be able to rank higher in the SERPs. Now, aside from some traditional on-page SEO practices you need to implement, you need to optimize your site for local search. Here is how to do so.
- Choose easy-to-memorize and authentic domain name. You could even choose to register a business, a company name, and a domain name all at once and, in this way, ensure that no one steals your branding idea.
- Have a dedicated contact page. Make sure that your contact page contains your NAP (your name, address, and phone). Also, if you have more than one business locations, make sure you add a complete name, address, and phone number of each location to your site’s footer.
- Optimize your site for mobile searchers, as more than 30% of mobile searches are location-based. For example, given the fact that 76% of local searches result in a phone call, make your phone number clickable. Mobile users don’t want to switch between apps to make a call.
- Add a map. After all, local SEO is all about helping your customers find you easily.
- Include testimonials. If your potential customers see that people similar to them are buying from you, they may want to do the same.
- Use Schema for local businesses. The schema markup for local businesses will inform Google about what your business is about and help you rank higher in the local search.
2. Get Featured on Major Review Platforms
To make the most of your local SEO, you need get featured on all major review sites, like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, or TripAdvisor. Why? Well, local reviews are vital for local search rankings and conversions. When getting your business listed, you need to do the following:
- Make sure your business is listed on all important local-review sites. To find the sites relevant to your business and location, search for Target Location + reviews or industry/niche + Target Location + reviews
- Take advantage of Google My Business to manage your presence in the SERPs.
- Open your business’ profiles on social networks relevant to your business and customers.
- Never ask for a massive amount of reviews at once, as it may look too spammy.
- Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. They will help you collect an invaluable feedback and help you improve your business.
- Be professional when responding to people’s comments.
- Provide the same information across all platforms you use. First, write an authentic description and add all links relevant to your business. Second, select the right categories for your business. Third, tell what your opening times and days are. Finally, add your phone number and address.
- Add multiple photos of your business. Don’t forget that your profile images and cover photos need to be high-quality.
3. Create Quality, Local Content
To establish yourself as an authority, you need to start a business blog. And, to give your SEO practices a boost, you should host your blog on your business’ domain. This way, you will gain links to your business’ site, as well as acquire links to your blog. For example, “www.website.com/blog” will always do better than “blog.website.com.”
Here are a few golden rules of writing local content that makes sense:
- Write guest articles for most renowned blogs in your niche. Also, mention them and link to them in your blog posts.
- Do target audience segmentation and build reader personas to deliver customized user experience.
- Make sure you include your city name, as well as the names of neighboring places your target audience might search for.
- Don’t write about your business exclusively. Overly promotional content is never a good idea. Instead, aim to become a relevant and reliable source of information for your readers.
- Include the information relevant to your readers. For example, focus on local news, announce major community events, answer the questions most commonly asked by locals, and capitalize on trending topics relevant to them.
4. Leverage Citations
Simply put, citations are mentions of your brand name, address, website, or phone number anywhere on the web. Even though they don’t necessarily include the link to your site, they are important because they’re one of the major local ranking factors.
For starters, you need to build citations for true physical business locations only. P.O. boxes and virtual offices are out of question. Now, you can have unique citations for your every business location, but you need to ensure that you use the same data on each citation you create.
There are several ways to build citations. First, you can start with local search engines. To help search engine crawlers find and index you, make sure your site is featured on all major business directories, as well as geography-specific directories. Second, you can earn links from authoritative local blogs. Finally, you can gain citations from industry-specific sites. Even though these sites don’t need to be focused on only one location or region, they are usually accepted as relevant citation sources by local search engines.
Back to You
In today’s overly competitive ecosystem, the only way to gain a completive advantage is to implement local SEO. It will help you grow your business, establish yourself as authoritative, and boost your traffic and conversions. Hopefully, these tips will help you do so.
What local SEO practices do you use to rank in local search engines?