Most small businesses offer their products and services to a specific geographic market. Being found quickly when someone needs the local services is vital to your success https://bizop.org. Incorporating local SEO strategies into your marketing activities that complement your other online marketing is essential to your business.
Traditionally local small businesses use a mixture of local advertising, direct marketing, coupons, and word of mouth marketing. Depending on your type of business, it’s also possible to use door hangers, flyers, truck lettering, and site signs. They are all still valid marketing tactics that will allow you to become known in your geographic area.
But today’s consumer is utilizing the Internet more regularly to look for and evaluate local businesses. And since 46% of Google searches are for local information, why don’t you implement the following local SEO strategies and stack the deck in your favor?
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO extends organic SEO with a combination of online strategies to make your company more visible to those searching locally for products and services. These local SEO strategies include:
- Localized content on your website
- Google My Business listing
- Bing Places for Business
- Citations in business directories
- Online reviews
We count on our smartphones to get the information we need in some where we are always on the run. Millions of us use local search every day to find excellent local businesses inside our area. You can assist in your chances of having found by implementing local search strategies.
Local search tips for outranking your competitors
Create localized content for your website
On-page SEO never loses importance. It just becomes more localized.
Starting along with your website, ensure you optimize for local search results. Be consistent with your name, address, and contact number on your website to match the neighborhood citations you will need to claim and manage.
Add towns and cities you service where appropriate. Remember to publish for the human first. By doing so, you are likely to be providing a good user experience and content the search engines will love.
Pay attention to on-page SEO techniques, localizing them where it makes sense:
- Include service pages that are unique for every area.
- Optimize images using locations in the file names. If you paint houses and have ideas of your work in specific towns, create the file names utilizing the towns (e.g., residential-painting-boston.jpg). Also, are the locations in the alt tags.
- Include your location in your title tags, meta descriptions, URL structure for the pages
Now I’d like to re-emphasize the “where it makes sense” part, which leads me into what exactly you shouldn’t do when optimizing your website for local search results:
- Service area links at the bottom of every page of your website that link to duplicate pages with only the town and zip code changed.
- Blog posts that put the name of a town at the end of the post title (e.g., 10 Plumbing Tips for Homeowners Boston, MA)
- Stuffing city and town names into this content everywhere
- Using different cell phone numbers for other locations for tracking purposes
Optimizing your website for local search results can end up being a big winner if done correctly. Keep it human and let the search engines naturally index this content for your very best results.
Claim and optimize your Google My Business page
If you want to be found in local search, claim and verify your Google My Business. According to Google itself, you can improve the local ranking by utilizing Google My Business and creating a compelling profile. Whenever someone pursues a local business, Google displays results using its database in its database of local companies.
What to consider:
- Write a unique description of your company.
- Choose the best categories.
- Make sure your information is correct and up-to-date.
- Add photos for your company.
- Manage and answer reviews
- Claim your profile shortname
- Use Google My Business Posts to publish updates about your company in a similar way you post to your Facebook business page.
Bear in mind that there is misinformation floating around as well. Don’t listen to those that inform you to use a P.O. box or stuff keywords in place of your company name. Create your account using accurate information. If your company has just one physical location and a site area, ensure that is how you create your listing.
If you’re a local business, it’s more important than ever to have a complete Google My Business page indeed to boost your odds of appearing in the neighborhood search results. Claim and edit your company listing to assist you rank for local searches.
Claim and optimize your Bing Places for Business
Like Google My Business, Microsoft offers their local business directory that may help you rank higher on Bing’s local see results. Ensure you claim and optimize your Bing Places for Business listing.
I’m sure you are wondering why you ought to spend time on Bing? Surprisingly, Bing powers over 35% of searches in the U.S.
To provide relevant see results for the users, Bing wants to accomplish everything it could to validate the existence and quality of a local business. A vital component for local search on Bing is the local listing on the search engine. So add yet consistent information you put into Google My Business.
And it’s possible that the competitors aren’t paying any focus on Bing and spending almost all their time optimizing their results on Google.
In addition, Google looks beyond its listings when determining to rank. It considers precisely how many listings are available on other directories. And Bing ranks 4th as one of the top local citation sites behind Facebook, Apple Maps, and Google My Business. By adding your listing to Bing, you better your chances to be found over your competition.
Claim and manage local listings and citations
An area citation is any mention of your company that is available online. Along with Google My Business and Bing, citation sites include Facebook, Yelp, Yellowpages, Better Business Bureau (BBB), or other authoritative websites that could provide an online directory to businesses in your industry.
One of the significant factors in determining how you rank locally is the number and quality of citations and the consistency of your name, address, and contact number (NAP). Inconsistent listings with outdated information or different spellings of your company name can lower your visibility.
So before you begin updating your citations, create a record that specifies precisely:
- How your company name should be spelled
- How your address should be written
- Which main contact number should be used appropriately
Your online citations should match the registered name with the state, the data at the post office, the data on your website, and one central phone number.
Claiming and actively managing your free profiles on citation sites are a great way to obtain reputable backlinks to your website. And, since several citation sites have credibility with Google, your listing on these sites can often show in top search results.
Obtain online reviews from your customers
Do whatever it requires to obtain online reviews from your best customers. According to BrightLocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey, 93% of U.S. consumers searched online for a local business. From these, 34% searched every day, while 73% searched weekly. Additionally, 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews around personal recommendations from friends or family.
Suppose you aren’t implementing a means for people to quickly review your company on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, or other review sites. In that case, you will need to determine ways to do so. Not merely do they influence the buyer, they also affect your rankings in local search engines.
According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews influence your company’s visibility for both the area pack and organic ranking. The neighborhood pack is mainly affected by the number and quality of studies on its Google My Business page.
Create a fast, mobile-friendly website
Not necessarily a local SEO strategy, having a mobile-optimized website is crucial to ensuring your company appears in the search engine results. With Google now indexing all websites using the Mobile-First Index, your website must provide an excellent user experience on mobile. If not, your website could be taken from the index.
Most people search well for a local business or local service while they’re on the go utilizing a mobile device. Hopefully, your website is mobile-friendly or “responsive” so that your potential customers can get details about your company quickly and easily.
Two points to consider:
- Google has stated that many websites are now using Mobile-First Indexing, where nearly all Google’s crawl requests to your website will soon be made utilizing a mobile crawler.
- Google, in addition, has indicated page load speed times as a significant ranking factor. If your website loads slowly, your ranking will drop. That is essential for improving readability and user experience, both of which may significantly influence Google’s algorithm.
Mobile optimization plays a massive role in local SEO, and a smartly designed responsive website provides a much better user experience. Make yours clean and straightforward with simple to find local information.
Make local SEO part of your marketing strategy.
Now that you realize the basic principles of local SEO, get yourself a handy local SEO guide and infographic from Shane Barker to assist you in remembering things you need to do. You may also find this step-by-step guide by Valen Digital helpful as well.
Incorporating local SEO strategies into your marketing activities enables potential customers to easily find your company and access information essential to allow them to create a buying decision.