Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of improving search engine visibility for local businesses, especially those brick-and-mortar ones. Local businesses reap practical benefits just by observing local SEO best practices. They will see a stark improvement in organic traffic coming from searches done by clients in nearby areas.
Search engines use a plethora of signals in gathering information. Local content, social profile pages, links, and other relevant information are considered to provide the most suitable local results to the user.
To give you an idea of how crucial upping your local SEO game is to your business’s survival, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. In 2021 alone, this number jumped to 81% of all searches! That means if your business isn’t optimized for local search, you’re potentially missing out on clients who are ready to shop in your area. Thus, local SEO is critical if you want your business to stay relevant.
If you’re struggling with how to kickstart your local SEO improvement, we got you covered. We’ve collated 6 simple strategies to help you improve your local SEO rankings.
Optimize your Google My Business Page
Once you have created a Google My Business (GMB) profile, you can claim your business profile or add your business.
It is essential to have a GMB account because through this, Google can verify that your business is real. This adds a level of authenticity to your business. Also, the search engine can grant your business the sidebar space in Google local search. However, your task doesn’t end by just creating an account. You also need to make sure that your account is optimized. Otherwise, your effort will be all for naught.
Don’t worry because optimizing your account doesn’t involve a lot of technical know-how. Just fill out the correct information in all sections. Double-check your contact information as it is very important (or update it if necessary).
Writing a description about your business using relevant keywords or a meta description also helps improve your page’s rank. It also gives the searcher an idea of what your business is about.
We cannot stress how important it is to use high-quality images for your account. For the benefit of your patrons, publishing weekly posts helps in keeping them engaged. Lastly, encourage your clients to write reviews about their experience with your brand and ensure that you respond to reviews. Google and other search engines consider all these factors to authenticate your business and improve your search engine ranking.
Add your business to local listings
Now that we’re done improving the page you manage, it’s time to look to other platforms where you can direct traffic to your page.
Various online directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, etc., list information related to the company’s name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, and more. Some platforms even let you add a brief description of your company and images. This listing is typically free of cost to create.
Working with these platforms is effective because search engines scan information on your website to determine your rankings. They look at what type of links you get on your website and if they are credible sources. Links from business directories can help Google determine that your business is authentic. However, you need to ensure that the information you enter is accurate and consistent in all directories.
Protip: There’s nothing more annoying to clients (and you can attest to this) than getting wrong or inconsistent contact details, especially when you’re in a rush. Your task, then, is simple! Just make sure to add the right address and contact information. Enter the correct website URL so that you have a backlink to your website. Creating a business listing can help your business become more visible.
Utilize local keywords
Another strategy that you can incorporate into your plan is to use local keywords. To appear in local search results, you need to use local keywords. Local keywords include location-specific terms which generate search results relevant to that particular location. Google Keyword Planner is one such tool that can help you filter search terms based on location. This enables you to find keywords that people in a specific region are searching for.
Include these keywords in your URL, title tags, headlines, and descriptions. These region-specific terms can also be included in your content. This helps your business appear for local searches.
Add your business’ other locations
If you’re operating in more than one spot, then it would be great if you could add the addresses of your branches on your website. You could easily insert them in your About Us or Contact Us pages.
The reason why we’re suggesting this is that it adds more authenticity to your page, and it is more convenient for your clients, too! They can just look up which branch is the nearest to them without going on a long drive or commute.
Make your page mobile-friendly
We’re at the period of the information age where almost everyone on the planet has mobile phones but doesn’t have access to a laptop or PC. So, if you want your business to capture a certain market, you have to make sure that your page looks as engaging on mobile phones as it is on desktops.
The good thing is that there’s no shortage of website builders out there that lets you preview how your page looks on a mobile phone. Just check it out or have someone try it. If feedback tells you that you have to tweak it, then please do.
Update consistent information
An almost infallible strategy for consistently ranking well on local SEO rankings is to position yourself as a value provider. That means if you’re someone working in the real estate industry, people look up to you to provide relevant news about the local real estate market, prices, availability, etc. This involves consistently uploading factual information.
The first step is always the most difficult one to take when building a brand. Increasing the brand’s awareness and reach locally is a challenge even to the most seasoned business owners.
Protip: When creating content or a blog for your page, we suggest you focus on local content. Google continues to evolve in such a way that content creators can now truly write for users, not for search engines. Writing about general topics will attract a vast crowd. Still, lately, we noticed that it’s more beneficial to hone your focus and write about local or industry news to attract a local audience.
Again, if you position yourself as a value provider, the “local” industry guru, then visitors will naturally visit your page to see the local industry gatherings, news, employees, and other educational content you’re promoting on your blog. Think of top-of-the-funnel content that goes beyond what your business sells.
For example, if you own a real estate company and are trying to attract businesses new to the area, create a helpful resource to get your potential buyers/sellers well-acquainted with your city. Perhaps including a link of local service providers (such as contractors or mortgage providers) or a calendar of city-wide events could both provide value for your persona and help contain highly relevant on-page local signals.
Once you follow these basics, you’d be surprised at how effective they can be in driving traffic to your page. We hope the tips laid out above can help you improve your local SEO rankings.