Local SEO is important for small businesses that operate on a regional instead of a national basis. With national SEO, you focus more on ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) across the country; however, local SEO prioritizes the SERPS in a certain location. This strategy relies on marketing your services, products, and brands to local leads and customers.
It is also important to note that up to 46% of all search traffic is local. If you do not invest in local SEO, your business may lose out on a lot of potential traffic. Keep reading for some tips and ideas on how to ensure your local SEO efforts are successful.
Create a Google My Business Account
When you optimize your Google listing, which is your business profile, you will immediately look better in Google’s eyes. It will also help you rank higher on Google Maps and gain more visibility via the local search results.
To access your Business Profile, you need a Google My Business account associated with the profile. After providing all the needed information on the dashboard, it will be added to your Business Profile. This is what will appear in Google Search local results, Google Maps, and the Google Search Knowledge Panel.
Request Reviews from Happy and Satisfied Customers
Encouraging your customers to write positive reviews for your business will not just optimize your presence; it also helps encourage more local customers to purchase from you. In fact, up to 85% of all customers believe and rely on online reviews as they make personal recommendations.
You can do a few things to encourage your customers to leave a review for your business. One method is to ask your customer for a review in person as soon as they check out. You can also send a post-purchase text or email requesting that your customers leave a review. However, make sure you have screened a customer-first using a survey to ensure they are truly satisfied with the purchase and experience.
Keep in mind that Google has stated that it is fine to request a review from customers; however, Yelp discourages this practice.
Optimize Your Efforts for Voice Search
Voice search is growing and becoming a more popular way for people to find the information they are looking for. In your local SEO efforts, you must take time to optimize your efforts for the way people are asking questions when they talk into their devices, rather than how they would type out a search.
Put simply, your customers use more long-tail keywords when conducting voice searches compared to a regular search. Because of this, you must also adjust your content’s SEO so it fits the conversational tone someone uses when they talk. For example, you need to account for basis question starters, such as where, why, when, what, who, and how.
It is essential to consider user intent when you optimize for voice. That is because these searches are usually performed when a user requires specific information. If someone is baking and asks Alexa for conversion from teaspoons to tablespoons, they want a useful and fast answer. If a customer uses a voice search feature to find out your business hours, you should ensure they can find this information quickly.
Build Content Around Local Events or News Stories
There is nothing quite like writing content that speaks to or relates right to a local situation or issue to help grab and keep your customer’s attention. There are a few strategies you can use to help with this. For example, create your blog posts around local events, activities, or news stories. You can also create videos about a local cause or charity that your business supports. When you set up location-specific pages on your site with high-quality, useful content, you will find your customers appreciate the time and effort you have put into it to appeal to them and their needs.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
The shift to mobile has come. People are now relying on the devices they have with them to find things they are looking for. As a result, you need to ensure your site is optimized for mobile users. It is important to note that up to 75% of all mobile searches with any local intent will produce offline, in-store visits within just 24 hours.
This means you must put time and effort into making sure your website can be viewed and used via mobile.
Focus on Local Keywords
It would help if you made sure the keywords you use are relevant to your local customers. This should make sense.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner will help you with this. When you use this tool, you can filter keyword searches based on your location, which gives you an idea of the specific search terms for a certain region. With this, you can create a list of locally relevant keywords to try to target. Once you have created this list, make sure the keywords appear in your site’s URLs, copy, and meta content.
When you optimize your local SEO, it means more conversions, leads, and traffic since the strategy is more relevant to your local customers. When targeting local searches include your location like a water heater company in Oak View. You can think of this as a type of focused strategy that will help you compete against bigger brands with more resources. When you focus on local-SEO, you can neutralize the benefits that bigger brands have.
Be sure you include mentions of specific hotspots and landmarks in the content you produce, too. For example, if you have a local restaurant that serves dinner in downtown Seattle, you can reference the Space Needle on your website.
Use Location Pages
If you have a business with more than one location in the local area, location pages are a must-have. At a minimum, make sure these pages include your store hours, phone number, business name, address, description, promotions, testimonials, parking availability, and Google Maps attachment. It would help if you were careful when dealing with several locations because unique content is required for each one.
Creating an Effective Local SEO Strategy
When it is time to create a local SEO strategy, there are several factors to consider. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to build a plan that works for you and your company. Doing so will pay off and help ensure you can be found by people who are shopping in the local area. Being informed and knowing what to do will help ensure you get the desired results.